Thursday, February 23, 2017

The First Story that Really Scared Me

A reader recently asked me, "Dear Ed, do you remember the first story that ever really scared you?”

That was an easy one to answer.

In the summer of 1977, when your friendly and humble correspondent was only nine years old, I happened to come across a book full of "scary stories" written for young people.

The book (pictured below), was published by Scholastic and was edited by a woman name Freya Littledale.

I have long since forgotten the stories included in this book. I was nine then, after all, and I’m now 48.

Except for one story. One story I still remember.

The short story, "The Demon of Detroit" scared the bejesus out of me.

I talk a little bit about this short story in the video that follows. 

The collection in which I originally read the story in 1977 is long out-of-print. (The book was published in 1971, when Richard Nixon was president.) But the short story itself is still out there, and is still scaring the heck out of readers, and even listeners on YouTube.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

"Thanatos Postponed: a short tale of terror" Chapter 7 video reading

Then Marisol pulled a small, shiny object from the pocket of her jeans.

A key. She didn't have to tell me that this was a key to the other guesthouse. Later Marisol would tell me that in a cabinet inside the main house, there were duplicate, and even triplicate keys to most of the outbuildings and storage closets of the estate. Members of the staff were always losing them, so long ago the family had learned to keep spares. But Raul Garcia would have removed the key currently in Marisol’s possession had he remembered it. That much, no doubt, was an oversight on his part.

We left my guesthouse together. I hoped that Raul Garcia had returned to the main house after his own bout of insomnia. Then it struck me: Even if Marisol was mistaken or exaggerating in her account, the act of trespass that I was about to commit was vast, and from the perspective of a man like Raul Garcia, it would be unforgivable. 

As we approached the front door of the other guesthouse, as I looked into its darkened windows, I wondered if I ought to renege. I couldn’t: I had committed myself now. And I couldn't disappoint Marisol. I had made a commitment to her, as well.

She turned the key in the keyhole and pushed the door open. We stepped inside. I heard something acknowledge our presence with a low sigh, or perhaps a hiss. I was immediately aware of an overpowering smell, a miasma that surrounded me and permeated all my defenses. 

“No lights,” Marisol said, gesturing toward the skylight. 

This guesthouse had a skylight in its ceiling, which gave enough illumination for us to see. The moon, as I have said, was in its crescent phase that night; but the other guesthouse was near one of the estate’s big security lights. 

I could clearly see the outline of the figure in the chair. Female, diminutive. And I thought: Is that really Ana Garcia, the same girl in the photograph with Marisol? She couldn't be. It didn't seem possible. Her eyes were closed, and her skin was ashen—rather than the vibrant light brown it should have been....

More content coming for YouTube

One of my big goals for the first half of this year is to get a lot more story and bonus content posted to my YouTube channel.

I will freely admit that I am still ascending the learning curve of YouTube. I'm a writer, not a filmmaker, and that doubtless shows in my videos.

That said, I've made some investments (in both time and money) of late that should improve the production quality of of upcoming videos.

My goal is not to become the next PewDiePie or Jenna Marbles (two top YouTube stars, for those of you who aren't familiar with the site). My goal is to establish another outpost for getting my stories out into the world. 

That said, I want to make my YouTube videos as fun and engaging as possible. I'm excited about some of the video projects that I'm currently working on.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

On sharks, and my short story, "By the River"

From my YouTube channel, a video I made today. It contains some interesting tidbits on sharks, and a brief introduction to my short story, "By the River".

Monday, February 20, 2017

Thoughts on Depression

From my YouTube channel: Some thoughts on keeping depression at bay. 

There is nothing in this video that is ground-breaking, or that is going to win any awards. This is merely some advice that has helped me over the years.

I also go out of my way (sufficiently, I hope) to note that none of this consists of medical advice for clinical depression. This is for garden-variety, slings-and-arrows-of-normal-life depression. (If you suspect that you have clinical depression, go see a health care professional, forthwith!)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

What's happening on YouTube?

On my YouTube channel, I am currently reading from my novella Luk Thep, my novel 12 Hours of Halloween, and my long short story, Thanatos Postponed.

I've also started a "Daily Journal" playlist, in which I'll be answering questions that you folks send me about my stories and writing process. 

The YouTube comment threads have long been broken (another lengthy topic for another day) but you can reach me via Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or email if you have any requests/suggestions for "Daily Journal" topics.