Since some of you emailed me about this, here it is: Part IV of "Lucky Shot," one of the many stories rescued from the old files.
If you haven't read the first 3 parts, I suggest you do so before reading Part IV. Then again, you can do whatever you'd like. Hell if I care.
If it's not obvious by now, when I was a wee-writer, I had a thing for Edgar Allan Poe. By thing, I mean I really enjoyed his writing. This is where Raven's Crook comes from, and while the title of the town is a bit cheesy, I already had too many stories centered around the town to change the name.
However, my fictional towns aren't the only place Poe references occur. In fact, a few years back, I was challenged to imitate
“When Dean Young Speaks of Wine” by Tony Hoagland. As I was cleaning out my files again, I thought this might be a piece worth sharing in this good ol' blog. Enjoy!
"When Edgar Allan Poe Speaks of Ravens"
Imitation Poem by C.M. Humphries
The vulture guffaws when it hovers above the deceased.
The hummingbird buzzes when it spots something alive or sweet.
But when Mister Poe talks about ravens, his words are grotesquely poetic.
Yet it seems that ravens are hardly the subject.
He claims, Great penname but you do not need it.
He claims, Good faith but religion is falsified.
He claims, All we see is a dream within a dream.
He claims, Irrelevancy is where the truth lies.
Eighteen forty-seven was a dreadful year, he says,
and for a second I am afraid that Michigan has turned him
into a murder-lover strayed away from capital punishment.
Next he claims,
I have great faith in fools
and no abhorrence in danger
self-confidence my friends call it.
Then he declares, I am above the weakness of seeking
to establish a sequence of cause and effect,
between disaster and the atrocity.
But where is the Definition of abandonment?
Where is the Romance in tuberculosis?
Where is the Misery in a life worth loving?
with the sense of accomplishment of a Wife and Child?
and the undertone of bleak Self-Assurance?
His vein bulging as if trying to free itself
from his misery.
His drug of choice like pain.
When a scholar is hurt he babbles insanity.
When a dog is hurt it lies by beast or man.
But when a poet is wounded,
he pleads woe is the world.
Then he sits and writes, but with one hand clutching his chest
thinking everything into nothing
as if loneliness could be replaced by ink.
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Here's another rough draft section of "Armageddon as Expected". Enjoy!
II. The Masked Girl in the Barren City
We wrapped chains around the wheels, Allen and I, and it was a good thing we did.
This morning wasn't going to be easy, but no one expected it to be so difficult. One perk to living in a private community is the isolation from the rest of the word, and a little of the rural freedoms such as immaculateness and seclusion. However, these very benefits are anything but fortuitous once winter solstice proceeds. In other words, little things like road conditions can stand in your way. Normally the area is cleared, but this year we dropped the ball for sure. The high school that never closes closed. Snow plows were stuck in ditches.
And so was I. Everything's fine and the car checked out. The bad part is, I was supposed to work this morning. No matter what I do in life, if I agreed or am scheduled to appear, I do.
Since I'm reluctant to let this day of productivity go to waste, I think I'm going to start up a blog story. Between the threat of armageddon that never flourished and the man-we-thought-this-was-going-to-be-bad-but-not-this-bad weather, I found inspiration.
I don't know what this going to be, but it's going to be something. If you want to write one of the sections, just hit me up.
Otherwise, here we go . . .
Transgressive fiction is nothing new. In fact, although I coin myself a transgressive writer, it's kinda like saying punk rock after the 1980s. To be a true trangressive writer, many would argue you must've been a published pen between the late 1800s and early 1900s. However, many writers of the new and sorta new can be found quite easily today, such as Amy Hempel and Chuck Palahniuk. Oh yeah, James Joyce - you know Ulysses - is a pretty common gem. While we're name dropping: Bret Easton Ellis, Anthony Burgess, Elizabeth Young.
Trangressive fiction started with prose that was often banned or chastised for being too obscene, too vulgar, or just too close to home. These stories brought the social struggles of their times into an honest - admittedly sometimes dark - portrayal. Some people go to the extreme, while others might just rip on consumerism.
The thing about transgressive fiction is that's it's about what's right. Here are 3 points to consider if you ever find yourself bored in a Barnes & Noble and want to count the trangressive writers throughout the entire store.
Today I was spoiled with an opportunity to interview author Andrew Cyrus Hudson, the mastermind behind Somewhere in the Shadows: The Anthology. See, he's the guy who designed the book and had it made.
He's worked with multiple aspects of publishing, and his passion resides in producing a book from the ground up. He's also the guy who asked me to be in the short story collection.
You know that "Charlatan" thing I've been, admittedly, self-promoting like crazy as of late? That's the short story I contributed.
For now, here are the publishing-related questions and his uncensored response to them all.
C.M. Humphries (C):
C: How did you decide which authors would be in the anthology?
C: What were the overhead expenses for producing such an anthology?
C: What are your future plans for Somewhere in the Shadows or for other story collections?
C: Where can everyone find you online?
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Ask Andrew Cyrus Hudson Anything About Somewhere in the Shadows or independent & self-publishing in the comments - and earn points towards a hand-bound edition of No-Injury Policy!
When expectations are high, money is tight, love is tainted and stress is ubiquitous, the citizens of Chase County will do anything to make sure they survive. From the deconstruction of a town to frivolous intercourse with strangers, No-Injury Policy explores the dark depths of human nature when social pressures peak.
No sooner than the meek taste retribution, however, they encounter the demons that have aided authority figures to the top - demons that refuse to lose control no matter what it takes.
No-Injury Policy is the 1st short story collection by C.M. Humphries, showcasing seven of the eeriest tales from every town in Chase County: Raven's Crook, Lovington, Lakeside, and Long Brooke.
Following along as I provide a snippet of each story in the collection. If there's a picture to the left of the premise, that means I blogged on a topic from the story. Be sure to check them all out.
I just thought it would be useful to update my writing style according to 750words.com. More to come tomorrow.
Overall, it seems that I finding myself a little less self-important, which may be due to my Spanish classes or other recent events. However, you might notice that I am getting more positive. That seems weird for me to even care about being happy/optimistic, but I find it very important that I learn to show my optimism than to just think about hope. Have no doubt, though, that I am still sarcastic and cynical. And according to the charts, I am angry as well. Maybe this is the kind of angry that wants light a fire under someone's ass, so to speak. Maybe I want to burn down the world just so I can save. Or maybe I am just anxious to continue working on Excluded so you guys can all read the novel. Finally.
I believe the next two charts can speak for themselves. I would like to mention, though, how my concerns have become less about death. Now the anaylzing system used for these charts has its limitations. If I use words that relate to death, or the word death itself, it things I am worried about death. For instance, this explanation would read as me being worried about death. However, happier words reflect mentality as well as other emotions.
My point: Should a horror writer be losing concern for death? Something worries me there. Have no fear. I will continue to scare you. Or rather, I like to just interest you, the reader. If you escape into one of my novels, I consider that an accomplishment on my party. I am not here to revolutionize the world. But as long as I am still writing, that will probably happen naturally. "I will trend-send and mentality bend you." (Name the quote without Googling it.)
No, this certainly isn't about the recent box-office hit, featuring Michael Cera. And by the way, even if you despise Mr. Cera, you might want to check out this flick. It's quite amusing and unique. Definitely worthy of its three stars, but none more. Originality's only two-thirds of the battle.
Mailman at the door--hold on!
Weird. My apartment has this slot in the wall for mail to come in, which in nature is very 1970s. Every time he slips mail through the slot, I jump out of my uncomfortable hotel-furniture chair out of fear for my life. But no, no one is breaking in. Not in the slightest. Just slipping mail into my home. He could probably break in this way. I should leave out the details before anyone with ill-will reads this. My buddy Mr. Wildwig wonders if you can piss in my house. For the record, you can't. Halfway through, I've installed a hacksaw.
Anyway, where were we? Oh yes, myself versus the world.
I've been trying to keep up with 750words.com (I'm failing) and recently I've discovered some interesting stats about my own writing. It takes your writing, breaks it down, and tells you your state of mind, reused words, etc.
For this blog, my interest is my emotional state of mind. It takes your emotions and compares them to that of the world. So according to 750words.com, the following are my emotions compared to several other thousand people:
I could have told you this, but apparently I am more affectionate that the rest of the world. Hear that ladies? I'm an affection straight male, also know as a demon. Sorry, though, I'm taken and happy with it.
Okay, I'm a little egotistical. I mean, that's a gimme, right. You're visiting C.M. HUMPHRIES.COM right now. Go figure.
Weird, their happiness colors remind me of McDonald's fires. I mean, fries. Although if McDonald's sold fires . . .
Anyway, I digress. I think this system is bogus. Do I really seem so unhappy?
Ha, at least I'm not that anxious. Wait, is being anxious a good thing? Does that mean I have nothing to look forward to? Huh?
This isn't so bad. Unless they are saying that I voice my opinions and emotions too much like a prepubescent, heart-broken girl. Then they are assholes. I'm a happy guy.
Just because I write horror doesn't mean I hate the world.
Oh, Jesus-titty-fucking-Christ! I AM NOT A DEBBIE DOWNER. Seriously, which bar is really mine? Someone please comment on this blog and tell me that I am not such a little bitch.
Do you see that? My bar could eat the world's bar. Are they really trying to tell me, based on the sort of stories I write, that I am at 25% (or whatever the fuck percent that is) sadder than the entire fucking world? Next thing they're gonna tell me is that I curse more than the entire world too. Mother fuckers.
Okay now . . .
According to this, I cuss way more than I get laid.
You know what, to hell with this blog.
(To the guys and girls from 750.words: You know I'm just clownin', dawg.)
For any of you who know me personally, I have been trying to keep up with this project called 750 words for the last few days. And so far, I have been successful.
Although to any of you university types this may seem redundant, I think one principle of writing that is never stressed enough is "write". Seriously. I mean, sometimes I create these blogs just to make sure I am using some form of my talent. Or lack thereof.
One of my professors recently introduced www.750words.com to me, and now I am hooked. It's a website that explains you to yourself and allows you to write as much as you want, every day, privately. Sorta. I mean, everything on the web's accessible to some.
Anyway, the average flash fiction length is 750 words. Generally there is a 1,000-word cap, but most often, editors, professors, and the like want to see these 7oo-750 counts with the submitted writings.
So, although this isn't necessary, I've chosen to either write a random flash fiction piece, samples to future works, or a story to a series, each and everyday. Right now, I writing on each part of a new series for at least 750 words. I'm skating around 800 quite often.
I may never make anything out of the aforementioned piece, but at least I am writing. And it makes ya feel real good about it, too.
I'm not much for advertising other people's products, but you should definitely give this a shot, especially if you're the writing type. There're contests too. Prizes? Who knows.
Fear, focus, and the future. C.M. Humphries talks about writing, horror, and whatever.