Author: Eric Nash
The Jukebox Series – the lemon song
The posts in this series aren’t going to be witty, and probably not even interesting. They’re not going to be a social commentary, or a sermon, and I don’t expect comments. They will be just a bunch of very short recollections of things that have made smile. I hope they make you smile too.
There are several moments in my life which I remember vividly, this includes the music that was playing at the time. Music is very important to me. It provides an energy; a buzz that spurs me on through the day.
I’d like to share the songs that have stuck with me and the memories they conjure whenever I hear them. Thought I’d start with The Lemon Song by Led Zeppelin.
Over twelve years ago I was seeing a girl who lived in a flat several miles outside London. I lived three hours away and every Friday evening I would ride the distance to stay at her place for the weekend.
Early on Saturdays I would wake, go into the kitchen, and brew some coffee. When I was there the very first morning, I heard the girl pad to the bathroom. I turned, looked down the hall and saw that she had not shut the door and was standing facing the sink with her back to me. She wore nothing but a sarong tied low on her hips. Her legs were straight as she leaned slightly forward and used her left hand to draw her long dark hair clear of her face. That girl stole a piece of my heart as she brushed her teeth.
This tune was playing at the time:
Misconceptions, Notices … and Regrets.
When I was a boy I held the misconception that adults knew what they were talking about. Discovering that they didn’t was a relief, on the whole. However, some things should just be known.
I took a relative to hospital yesterday and as I was sitting in the waiting room I spotted a notice written on a white-board, which read:
THERE WILL BE A TWO MINUTE’S SILENCE AT 11.00 AM TO DAY
At first, I was comforted by Remembrance Day being marked by the NHS and the opportunity to tune into the collective consciousness given to the sick. Then I noticed the errors. I have never been part of the Grammar Police, so maybe it was my age, or the fact that it was a wet, wintry day, or the promise of a four-hour wait, that stirred my irritation, but I don’t think so. When I had children, I found that many of the things which had never really mattered were suddenly carved in stone tablets and hung from my neck while some bearded gent bellowed them constantly from a mountain just in case I’d forget.
The urge to walk over to the white-board and amend the notice was huge. With a little sleight of hand, my finger could erase the rogue apostrophe. The other mistakes would be more taxing. A pen, nay a dry-wipe marker pen, would be needed – I ended up wanting to rewrite the notice. Of course, there wasn’t a marker handy in case some vandal tampered with the important information, or some bored detainee doodled to pass the hours. I would have to ask the receptionist if I could borrow one.
I didn’t ask for the marker. I took out my own pen and wrote a blog post about misconceptions, notices … and regrets. I didn’t look at that sign again: my frustration was out on paper and I was content knowing that I was prepared to correct the mistakes. It was only when I left, that I regretted not having a smudge of ink on my fingertip.
Killion Slade and Me
I had a blast with Killion Slade, the ace husband and wife writing team, when they interviewed me about my story, Pigeon, featured in Sekhmet Press LLC’s Wrapped In Black anthology.
Read the interview on Killion Slade’s blog
22 More Quick Shivers (Vol 2, 2014)
This piece of drabble is featured in the 22 More Quick Shivers anthology from DailyNightmare.com. As the story is only a hundred words writing a synopsis, I think, would act … Continue reading 22 More Quick Shivers (Vol 2, 2014)
Wrapped in Black anthology (2014)
Maddie followed the path straight to the Goddess; she knew the Goddess took care of her own. ‘Pigeon’ is leaving readers “breathless”. Find it among twelve other wicked tales of … Continue reading Wrapped in Black anthology (2014)
Behind the Scenes of ‘Wrapped In Black’ with Gregory Norris
Writer and contributor, Gregory Norris, delves into the minds of the other authors to find out what inspired them to write their tales of witchcraft for the new Wrapped In Black anthology published by Sekhmet Press LLC. Read the scary truth here.
Changes anthology (2014)
Originally published on this website, Bruce, Wayne and Mike is about a man’s obsession with his tattoo. Described as ‘utterly surreal and dark’, the story is now available in the … Continue reading Changes anthology (2014)
The Pigeon Has Landed
‘Pigeon’ has a home! My short piece about witchcraft has been bought by Sekhmet Press LLC and will be appearing in their Wrapped in Black anthology due out in October.
Click to check out this great Literary Micro-Press http://sekhmetpress.wordpress.com/
The ‘My Writing Process’ blog tour
Yay! I’m on tour. When I was contacted about the tour I immediately packed up my Premier drum kit, Paiste cymbals and towel; started dreaming of groupies, hotel rooms and hot rubber on asphalt; and said goodbye to my wife. However, as you know, it isn’t that type of tour, (now unpacking, saying hello, but still dreaming). It’s the ‘My Writing Process’ blog tour which I can do from the safety of my writing pad. I would like to say thank-you to the gorgeous and erudite Michelle Augello-Page, author of the potent Into The Woods anthology, and editor of the online zine, Siren for inviting me on the tour , and also for giving me the opportunity to discover how uncomfortable I feel writing about myself. If you haven’t read her enlightening interview then please find it here. Now, put your lighters in the air because here come the questions.
What am I working on?
I have two projects keeping me busy. I am in the throes of editing my first novel, which is about the transformation of an old soul into a rebellious angel and a family’s struggle against the supernatural forces that are converging because of it. Secondly, a new short story which has almost trickled down through my fingertips and onto Word. I admit now, that I’m slow starter. The piece will explore Love: its motivations, its strengths and its extremes.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Mmm, I think I plan to evade this question by giving you an insight on what compels me to write horror fiction. I seem to display the darkness within people because it is there, not buried or shut away by shame, but lurking in the shallows. I try to delve into the common-place and sprinkle shards of glass into the ordinary, the mundane, the routine to see what is reflected. What I find, I write down. But here’s the thing, when I’m crafting a story I struggle with the urge to insert humour because I have a comedy writer inside me who is tickling the dark fiction writer to death.
Why do I write what I do?
To attempt to thrill the reader and give them gooseflesh. Blame that on my Grandmother because if I stayed up late with her to watch old black and white horror movies I would get a glass of milk stout as a treat. It was at that point, rigid with fear on the sofa watching Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, that the genre secured a little piece of my soul.
When I was drafting The Handwritten Journal for the Serial Killers Quattuor anthology by JWK Fiction, I decided to write it from the serial killer’s perspective. Despite never being a fan of this genre trope, I had written about one before – in Guardian Angel – but this time, because I was writing in the first person, it felt a lot more intense. For me, it was quite a disturbing experience which made me uneasy and forced me to think about how far one goes to deliver the horror. Interestingly, the story has also become one of my favourites. Perhaps that is why I write what I do: to explore my own boundaries and my fears as well as to chill my readers.
How does my writing process work?
It begins with notes. The first ink on a fresh .doc is usually a piece of dialogue or a simple sentence that has no context. Once I have that, I immediately push myself to continue writing and give it a meaning. It may not make sense and most of it may not be used but the act of writing produces more ideas which I quickly write down before they burst like bubbles from a kid’s bubble stick.
After a few pages of notes, I would hopefully have the beginnings of a plot, so I begin researching which uncovers more possible threads, characters, and twists that I I jot down.
It’s probably worth mentioning here that this doesn’t happen smoothly or in one session, but eventually I get to a point where I am able to begin writing the story. I’m always tempted to change things paragraph by paragraph but I try to avoid editing until I have finished the first draft as it interrupts the flow and is arguably time-wasting at this stage.
Even though writing time is fitted awkwardly in between the stack of miscellany in the Life drawer, I get to the point where I have something that I think is probably the best story I’ve ever written. I then give it to my wife to read. Succinctly, she informs me that it is probably not the best story I have ever written, so I go back to editing.
I’ve learned that returning to a manuscript is crucial. Upon receiving a rejection, I used to think somewhat arrogantly, how could they not like it? I would then open up the submission and concede that if I were a publisher I wouldn’t have accepted it either. So, in conclusion to my writing process, I always ignore the piece for as long as I can, maybe even starting a new project in the meantime, then I reread with the intention of doing a final edit.
Next week, June 30, 2014, authors, Jo-Anne Russell and Simon Williams will answer these questions. Be sure to read their interviews by clicking on their blog links below.
Jo-Anne Russell is a horror writer, who loves all things macabre. Her bizarre sense of humor has gotten her into a few awkward situations. Luckily, she has a very loving and supportive husband, and children, who come to her rescue. Her works have appeared in anthologies such as: Death Awaits – A Scarlett Nightmare, by Harren Press, Behind Closed Doors, by Wicked East Press, Monster Gallery, by Static Movement, Suffer Eternal Vol. 3, by Horrified Press, The Old Sofa, by Brazen Snake Books, and others. Her debut novel The Nightmare Project, is the first in the Dangerous Minds Trilogy, and is available now. Read Jo-Anne’s interview here: http://www.jo-annerussell.ca.
Simon Williams is a writer based in the UK whose work broadly falls into the fantasy genre but also contains many elements of horror and sci-fi. His main works are the Aona series of dark fantasy novels, of which three have been published so far- the fourth book is due out by the end of 2014. He has also almost finished his first fantasy book for children, Summer’s Dark Waters. Read Simon’s interview here: http://www.simonwilliamsauthor.com/