Had a genuinely frightening nightmare last night, such as I haven't had in ages.
The details have gone a bit sketchy, but I remember enough to use it as an
integral element of the new horror story I'm plotting. Good timing, I'd say;
though the dream wasn't related to my original story idea, they mesh together
well. It's good when that happens.
the moment, I'm plotting a get-together with
William "Bill" Trotter for celebrating New Year's Eve tonight. Looks like a
good old pot of hot chicken curry is going to be in the making. Then some
reviews for About Horror.com (Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla  and
Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II ). After that, it's storytime....
God, what a wonderful holiday this has been for me. Spent several days in my old
home town with my mom, my brother, the missus, and my daughter, and got to see
some dear old friends. Today I cranked out my essay for Storytellers
Unplugged, which will be posted on Thursday. Got in some high-quality
inspiration in the form of long walks in the woods and through the old
neighborhood. Sent off the rather drastic rewrite of "The Devils of Tuckahoe
Gorge," which I hope you'll be reading in print in the not-too-distant future.
Christmas presents were fine, but the time spent with loved ones was
unparalleled. That's what this season is all about for me. Yes, folks, I believe
in God, and yes, I have a lot of problems with Christianity in general, but when
I see the love and fellowship that comes out of it, at least in my community,
and among the people who mean most to me, I see all that's right, not
what's wrong with the faith. Celebrate, people. If you've got one positive thing
in your life, if you have a single thing to be thankful for, celebrate it. Thank
God it's there for you. You know, shit happens. God's not about shit not
happening. It's going to. But if you have an ounce of faith, God will hear you,
and the shit may not really be the monster you think it is. It may be the thing
that makes you what you're supposed to be.
Celebrate, people. Be a positive force in the world. Love. Even when you think
it's fucking impossible. Just do it, as they say.
Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Peace be with you. God be with you. Celebrate.
have heat. We're also some $7,000 poorer with the new heat pump and water heater
put in. Ah well; tis better to be warm and poor than cold and only marginally
Thanks to an early Christmas present, I've got Kolchak: The Night
Stalker to occupy several hours of DVD viewing. Watched the
first episode ("The Ripper") last night, and what a damn fun show this
was. I remember always being excited on Friday nights back in 74, when
it was first broadcast.
have a couple of pages left to finish up on "The Devils of Tuckahoe Gorge," which
will probably happen tonight. First priority is putting the house back together
after having to pretty much tear it apart so the workmen would have room to put
in the new hardware.
Devils of Tuckahoe Gorge" went off on a bit of a tangent, which is a good thing,
so I'm still working on it. Didn't get much writing done tonight; company and
housework, then a headache started setting in. Mondays. Uggh.
emergency heat is still working, knock on wood...
now we have no heat whatsoever. The heating unit, which was at least supplying
us with emergency electric heat, has now died. It may just be a blown fuse, so I'll try
replacing those tonight. If that doesn't work, we're going to get mighty cold
till next Thursday, when the whole damn system's going to be replaced.
LATER: The fuses worked, so we have
the emergency heat running again, sucking away at our
electric bill. Ah well. Better warm and poor than cold and poor.
Worked hard on "The Devils of Tuckahoe Gorge" for the last couple of days, and
I'm about 75% done. Should be able to finish it up tomorrow or the next day.
It's almost a completely different story than the original version, which is ten
or twelve years old. Last night, I wrote
a review of Godzilla: Final Wars for About Horror.com, which can be found
There are times I most definitely miss renting. Our heat pump died on
Sunday -- while we were checking out a new water heater, to replace the one
that's on its way to appliance heaven. We're looking at a major job here --
having to replace the whole central air unit, so that pretty much blows the
travel budget for next year and then some. The auxiliary unit, at least, is
keeping some warm air flowing, so at least we're not freezing at the moment.
X-ing those dad-blamed fingers again.
set to work revising an older tale, "The Devils of Tuckahoe Gorge," which I can
hopefully sell as a reprint. Gonna have to do all kinds of selling to help make
up for the shortfall that keeping warm is going to cost us....
I've been reading the short novel, This Island Earth, by Raymond
F. Jones and wanted to refresh my memory of the film, so I put on my
old VHS tape of it today; the movie holds up surprisingly well, and though it
takes some liberties with the source material, it makes for a damn good
cinematic adaptation. I love the style of special effects from its day
-- miniatures, matte paintings, and optical effects, all coming together
to create a distinctive atmosphere. I remember as a kid being terrified
by the Metalluna mutants -- though they really don't get much screen
time. The movie is basically of the same caliber
as Toho's Battle in Outer Space and The Mysterians,
which I consider the landmark SF/SPFX films of that time period.
Speaking of Toho, my reviews of King Kong vs. Godzilla and King Kong
Escapes have been posted at About Horror.com. Click
here and scroll down a bit to find them.
Tonight, Mrs. Rodan and I watched the recent House of Wax, which I found
surprisingly entertaining, even if it did feature Paris Hilton. Her part was
small enough so that acting didn't really enter into the equation. I appreciated
its faux-1970s thriller style and the fairly vivid gore effects. I'll give the
flick a solid
four out of six beers.
December 8, 2005
I've received the sad news that author J. N. Williamson died last night at
the age of 73. Jerry was best known for his forty-some novels and the
anthology series Masques, which he edited. Back in
Deathrealm's day, Jerry and I corresponded frequently, and several
of his stories appeared in the magazine. In person, he struck me as a
considerate and kind soul, and we spent a number of evenings at Necon
knocking back a few beverages and discussing the Nature of Things. We
fell out of touch after Deathrealm's demise and my con-goings
became scarcer; I wish I'd made more of an effort to keep up with
him. He'll be greatly missed.
Nope, I'm not really a grinch. I love Christmas. Always have, ever since
I was a kid. Of course, back then it was Santa Claus and presents and
seeing my grandparents; nowadays it's the most special time I have to
spend with my family. It's still a magic holiday, moreso than any other.
(Although I rate Halloween a mighty close second; who'da thunk it,
But I sure do
hate Christmas shopping these days. I never go out to the stores
anymore, as I DESPISE the crowds, the crass commercialism, the rudeness
of folks supposedly experiencing the joy of giving and all that. I've
done all my shopping online this year, and between mine and Peg's, the
bills have really racked up. I hate being stressed over money when
the season ought not be about that. That doesn't mean I'm not joyful
about giving gifts. I like that as much as receiving them.
I like the idea
some people I know have -- of sending cards, or making their own gifts, or just
spending time together. Lord knows that would help alleviate some of the stress.
I mean, Christ, we end up in debt for months over one freakin' day, and I
personally don't feel it's worth it.
But being married,
there are some things about which compromise just doesn't fly -- Christmas gifts
being one of them.
Anyway, I got
myself into the holiday spirit by watching The Flesh Eaters tonight and
writing reviews for About Horror.com with Christmas music playing. It worked pretty well.
up my most recent story, "Sky of Thunder, Island of Blood" in less than a week's
working time -- for me, quite a rarity. The tale took off on a very different
tangent than I originally anticipated, and I just ran with it, which I think was
the right idea. Turned out to be about 5,000 words, right on target. Overall, I
think the tale hit the target too; it involves the Battle of Britain and certain
oddness on the Isle of Wight. We shall see how it goes when it crosses the editor's
desk. X the old fingers, if you would.
be archiving The Log every couple of months, so for previous entries, visit the link