Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Love Monkeys and Self-Censorship

People are buggers, quite often. Plenty of them around here, in the town where I live...miserable gits, making others' lives miserable. But that's not what we're all about. Sometimes, people kind of elevate themselves above all the shit and make something beautiful.

Silly films, silly books, silly music. Things that make people feel better, rather than feel worse. Vonnegut, for example, always made me feel better, by shining a light on the darker aspects of the human soul and pointing out just how fucking ridiculous we are.

Others, too, pick up the happy ball and run with it. Marvin Gaye, Pegg and Frost, not Kafka, he's a miserable twat, but John Candy, yes. Not all comedians, by a long shot. Chevy Chase, always, makes me laugh and feel a little lighter. Franklin, Aretha, not Benjamin.

I watched Paul tonight (Pegg and Frost) and got to thinking of the lofty ideals and possibilities of being in a position where people read/listen/watch your innnermost thoughts...and the power you have. As a writer? Yes, you have a modicum of influence on people. You don't tell people what to think - that's fancy land...but you might give people an idea. An ethos, or a mythos, by which to live.

I don't think an author should censor themselves...but they do have a kind of strength. Words can move people. Words, stories, ideas, can move people to want to be better, to strive for more.

V for Vendetta, in a way, moved me. Moore's on my list of cool dudes, for sure.

There are so many more. Within an entire novel, 100k or more words, there may be a small snippet or even a tiny piece of doggerel that makes you think about who you are (Iain Banks...miss you - Look to Windward/Consider Phlebas) and why you tick. It's not philosophy, or religion. It's about being human.

I saw a piece of FB doggerel today - a meme. Our job as parents isn't to inure our children to hardship, but to teach them to lighten the world. It didn't say that - I'm paraphrasing. I'm a parent. I hope my boys will make the world a little lighter.

We're all in this shit together. You know what hurts? Seeing the dodgy sorts in town, making people wary, scared, to be a decent person. What worries me? Seeing the drunk guy at 7am this morning, buying more vodka. Damn, man, how much pain do you need to drown to hit a litre of vodka at 7am?

People are hurting, all over the world. I think my point is this: Yes, I'm a horror writer, by and large. But horror isn't about darkness, or violence, or hate. It's about love, but, to paraphrase another cool dude on my list (Bill Hussey), it's through a glass, darkly.

Give someone a hug, eh?

Love you. xxx

Sunday, 23 February 2014

What's so God-damned important about the fucking cup?

Been wondering my way around, over and through some thoughts of late. Kind of unimportant shit. I figured no one really cares about my stuff, because it's not theirs...

But maybe that's not true.

Like cups, on the draining board, when I've done the dishwasher.

Never used to get the arse about unimportant shit like that...but everyone's got their own stuff going on, and it's important to them.

So I'm wondering about all the people who say 'I'd never do that...'

People do that. They've got morals, ideals, codes of conduct. Me? My code is don't sweat the small stuff...but you do if that's all you've got.

Like a cup on the side board, after I've finished loading the dishwasher. I'm incandescent about it.

Here's why:

Not because of the principle, which is pretty simple. But because when you're surrounded by something, anything, whatever your ideals, it becomes a thousand times harder to let it go, to not lose it.

Watch a few shows of something like Big Brother, maybe you'll understand. People getting into flaming rows about the most unimportant thing in the you. But to them? It is their world.

Which makes me wonder. Fill people's worlds with unimportant makes it important...because they're immersed in it.

Like tabloid newspapers...they make things seem important, big, necessary. Maybe they're not. We live in a world of other people telling us what's important...and sometimes we believe them.

I think what I'm trying to say is when you boil it down to the essentials, take away all the crap, you've got to figure out what's important, and why. It's hard when you haven't even got space to think. Easy to be a hippy buddhist idealist when you're in the mountains breathing crisp clean air. Not so easy when you're listening to the doom and gloom in the pub, seeing terror in the tabloids every time you pass a shop, or feeling overwhelmed by a cup on the sideboard.

Yeah, it's not that deep. I'm not going to tell you what's important - I think that mostly differs from person to person and day to day.

But overall? Maybe people just need to take a step back, from time to time. Me, too.

Love you. xxx

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Flesh and Coin by Craig Saunders Sneak Preview!

As always, I have added a sample of accepted work on the blog. As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the sample.

Link: Flesh and Coin by Craig Saunders (Coming 2015 from DarkFuse)

Unfortunately, the blog won't let me add any more samples, as I've reached the limit. I've removed samples of older works to make room for the newer stories.

I'm sure you can find the old stuff if you want it - it's all still on Amazon.

Hope you enjoy the sample. Love you! x