Tuesday, April 10, 2007

If It's After Easter, I Must Be Back

I would like to thank people for their comments to the previous post. I have been on vacation from blogging. I thought I would write more, but oddly enough I seem to have just found other ways to squander time. I have been working on my fiction though, and find it is really a matter of being self-disciplined. Yeah.

"Mytholog" 's new issue is online now, which means so is my short story: "GOD". Feel free to visit their website, read the story, then tell them how much you love it or hate it. http://www.mytholog.com/

I'll give you a preface. I wrote the story in response to someone asking me: "Why must everything you write be so dark?" I remember smiling, shrugging, and dismissing her. I do that well.

When I look back at much of my work, I have admit that I do often choose the dark path. Why? Maybe Charles or Wayne can tell you better why people write horror. I can only share this:

"Do you like roller coasters? Yeah. Me too. What about driving on a slick expressway twenty miles over the speed limit on a busy Wednesday afternoon and then having someone clap their hands over your eyes? Yeah. Me too. You like Michael Meyers? Freddy Kruger? What about Jason Voorheis? or even Hannibal Lecter? Yeah...Me too. What about waking up in the middle of the night because you hear someone outside. Then, when you go downstairs to check things out, you discover your back door is open a little bit, and you remember locking it before you went to bed. Yeah? Me too."


SQT said...

Well, that story ought to have me thinking all night. I suppose that's the point though...

I like how you captured the essence of frustration one feels at God's mystery, or implacability I suppose.

And this exchange...

"How do we really know you're God?" I asked.

"I better be," he said.


"Because if I'm not, then I'm something else."

...sure keeps the reader guessing.

Well done.

SQT said...

Oh. I meant to say I'm glad you're back too.

Travis said...

Welcome back.

Excellent story. If I was to believe in such a being, this is the kind of being I would imagine. Imperturbable.

Susan Miller said...

Well, it's about time. As you know, I love the story. It's so great to see your words again. Welcome back, Stu.

deslily said...

Welcome back! I was beginning to be concerned that you weren't "just taking a break"!

etain_lavena said...

Shit Stewart.....well that was just Dandy....weird and wonderful story.
Good to see you back:)

Fab said...

Wow Sam. Great story. It's something that reads so fluently, and it caught me by surprise at the end. God. Figures!

avery said...

That's a great story, Stewart. I had this brief moment at the end where I thought you were going to haul out the cheese and have God there because Sam was destined to die, but, nope, you slammed it home! I should have known better, I know.

I really love how uncomprehendingly resentful the protagonist is.

Great work.

Oh, and welcome back!

avery said...

That he was destined to die, and God was there skip him on off to heaven, I should have said.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Thanks all...good to be back. Now I can once again shock, insult, amaze and be a general pain in the butt.

Sqt, those are probably my favorite lines in the story. I think about God a good deal, mostly because mortality pisses me off and I want to meet the one responsible for the concept. Imagine, giving someone a taste of life and then snatching it away like a sqeaukie toy.

Thanks Sue. Appreciate it. I am glad I took the time off. It felt like the adult thing to do and I wanted to see what that felt like. Being an adult, that is.

Thanks deslily, thanks Travis. I think one can be sucked into the blogosphere. At times it has too many elements of a chatroom. On the other hand, I've met some fun people around here and I wanted to stay in contact.

Thanks Etain. Tell me, if it is good to see me back, how would you feel about seeing me front?

Thanks Avery, good to see you. I promise you I try and stay away from the predictable. Not because I am trying to be unpredictable (how predictable would that be?) but because I get too pissed off.

FAB..thanks for the compliment. I'll pass it onto me.

Charles Gramlich said...

Congrats on the Mythlog piece. I'll check it out. Good to see another post from you. As for writing horror, part of it for me is what I call the "Coolness Factor." I mean, when that alien busted out of that guy's chest in the movie, all I could say was "Cool!"

miller580 said...

First off, Welcome back!
Now, I really liked the story. At first I was skeptical about reading a story about God. But then I thought this is Stewart, the man who introduced me to the great Reverend Maloney.

I don't to say that the story was predictable, but I am a cynic when it comes to God, and I know you well enough that I could see it coming. This is not to be intended to be a critique. It's just, I guess the story rings too true. If you would have pulled "the god saves his life card," I'd be hammering you, right now.
Seriously, it had to be Sammy. He was so accepting and unquestioning. so innocent. And the boy who doubts...is it his punishment to lose his friend? Or, I would suggest that the story demonstrates free will. God asked him to stay and play, but Sammy chose to leave.
I think a less cynical read would imply that the author was suggesting that God is always with us but technically it's still up to us. We are responsible for our own decision (again Free Will).
I of course take the view that God knew what would happen and chose to play God by leading the boys to the park only to watch the events play out like he was watching TV. "Smiling the playful smile one gives when you know a secret someone else doesn't, or the smile you make when you've done something and you don't want to tell"
But enough of that, I don't want to start a debate here.
Stewart, the story was well crafted and tight.
I too loved the lines about the "being something else" but I also loved the lines, "God smiled that smile again, this time laughing. His eyes reminded me of blue glass marbles. Not real. Unreadable.
"Why are you here?" I asked. It came out more forceful than intended. Sam hushed me, but I asked the question again.
"Because it's fun," God answered."

Fab said...

Oh no, I meant "Wow, poor Sam. Great story Stewart." And not how you read it! I'm being confusing again!

By the way, thanks for the comment on my blog ... still wondering if I should post a picture.

Crunchy Carpets said...

you have been missed.

Turnbaby said...

Glad you are back Stewart.

love the story--to me there are a couple of things that stand out in addition to those that have already been mentioned--the frustration at other's complete and easy acceptance of 'God' and the tenacious quality of the questioning.

I also really liked 'watching the chaos'

Turnbaby said...

And i wonder if 'he' went back to play with God with his friend in the street

Sidney said...

Welcome back. I'll check out your story. Cool title. The Howard the Duck comic used to have the subtitle: "Caught in a world not of his own making."

My friend used to always say: "Who is in a world of his own making? That would have to be reserved for The Adventures of God."

Lucas Pederson said...

Welcome back Buddy!!!
The story was great. I loved the tight prose. IT was a fun read.
Writing horror is a way to show folks they are mortal, and that they are just walking a thin tight rope over a gorge as deep as the world. It's a way to also reveal your own fears and, through your characters, convey a way to hinder those fears. IT's therapy, in otherwords. And besides, it's just fun. To scare some one is great, great fun.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Charles, the coolness factor is a powerful element. I sometimes wonder how much cooler it would be though if I identified myself as a porn star.

Thanks Jim, I appreciate the feedback.

Thanks Crunchy...thanks much

turnbaby, I like that several people have been able to look at this story and find some substance in it. I also like that it has provoked thought.

Sidney, good to see you. I read your blog and wanted to beat myself for not attending the World Horror Convention. of course, this has not been a good year financially. Anybody who wishes to, feel free to donate to me via paypal.

Thanks Lucas. I hope you've been behaving yourself.

Lucas Pederson said...

Nah. What fun would that be? Behaving myself? Ha! The very idea.