Beneath the Surface of the Soil (experimental fiction, 1092 words)

They had grown comfortable in each other’s skins, like old friends having lived together for a very long time. They weren’t married, but in many ways they were like an older married couple. Although they had never enjoyed their silver or golden wedding anniversary, had never even lived together or gone on a date, they were right for one another. Despite their close bond, their relationship was not sensual, never sexual. It simply was, like the bond of old friends who were closer than siblings. And the strange thing was that they’d never met, not once, except in the ether of cyberspace within a private web office called Liquid Imagination.

She had heard these words many times before: Why don’t you do the things you used to? And, Why can’t it be like it was before?

She would just smile and nod her heard knowingly, then turn away to tend her garden. When asked what she’s doing, the gardener would speak of planting things not yet discovered; she would speak of things that hadn’t grown up out of the ground: invisible things, living things planted deep in the soil of this private web office.

“Why does it have to be like it was in the beginning?” she asked once. “Why can’t it be what we’ve become?”

It was true that their relationship had become comfortable, and they could both slip into brutal honesty. They could both say what they wanted, they could both reveal how they really felt. If a story needed written, she would plant the seed and it would grow. The writer would harvest what the earth produced and post it in the private web office for all the other writers to admire.

“See what I grew?” the writer would say. “See what I did?”

But the truth of the matter was that the writer had done nothing; he had merely taken a seed given him by Liquid Imagination flowing through his mind, a gift from the Gardener. The power of growth was contained in the seed, and the writer merely dropped the seed into the ground, simply posted the story within the web office. It was the power contained within the seed that wrought forth growth. The writer had to do nothing but simply deposit the seed, after crafting the seeds intricate inner-workings along with the Gardener’s inspirations.

“Why can’t it be like it was before?” the writer asked her again.

She smiled and turned away. A wave of cold enveloped him as he watched her bend, her hand reaching into the beautiful garden that she and her host of writers had cultivated. She pulled and brought up a story from their garden of dreams. Turning around, she beamed and presented the writer the beautiful story.

“This is flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood,” she told him. “Isn’t that enough?”

The writer received the story like a ring, like a promise etched in gold. The writer slipped it over his finger. Later, he took the story and sent it off without a moment’s thought. Months later, an acceptance letter came in the mail; the story would be published.

That very same day, after telling others in the private web office about his recent acceptance, he posted still-yet another question: Why can’t it be the way it was before?

She smiled and turned her back. A wave of cold washed over him the way it always did when she ignored him, and he shivered, dejected. When she finally turned around, the Gardener wasn’t facing him anymore, but instead stood before another writer, a woman. This second writer was a lover of words like him.

“Here,” the Gardener said, handing her a story. “This is flesh of my flesh, life of my life, words of my words… take and eat in remembrance of me.”

The woman took the story and began to consume it. The words tumbled down into her mind, and vine-like tendrils and shoots grafted along the framework of her soul. “Why can’t it be like it was before?” the woman asked the Gardener, just before sitting before her laptop to write out the divinely inspired tale.

“Why does it have to be like it was in the beginning?” the Gardener responded. “Why can’t it just be what we’ve become: old friends?”

The woman shook her head and began to write, while another writer—this one, an angry young man—approached the garden. “What is this?” he asked the Gardener. She laughed and said, “What does it look like?” Then she explained that it was a garden.

“I don’t like to garden.”

“This is a writing garden, young man.” She turned around and handed him a story.

He took it unappreciatively. “Seems kind of quiet, a bit dead here.”

The Gardener smiled. “It might seem dead, but you can’t see the roots and life growing deep in the soil.” She turned away and the angry, young man took his gift and left the Gardener to her work. His story was about the undertow that existed far beneath the surface waves of the ocean. The angry, young man thought his story was about a cursed cove in which swimmers and divers would be pulled down by evil forces, when in reality it was the Gardner trying to teach of the deep things, trying to reveal the invisible things growing deep in the soil—the powerful undertow that is hidden deep beneath the surface of things.

They didn’t understand, but if they could only see what SHE could see, if they only knew what SHE knew, then they would see that beneath the surface of the soil were shoots and seedlings and roots forming a tapestry unseen. And the abundance of these interwoven threads—unseen, and thus invisible—stretched out in all directions, to the north, south, east and west. This tapestry of interconnectedness and thought breached into all directions, hidden, still growing into characters that could never die, into splintered paths and dying dreams and empty promises and stories sprouting up in other gardens halfway around the world, tales sprouting up across the Atlantic.

When asked the question they always posted, the Gardener would always gently chide them with these words: You can’t see beyond the surface of things; you can’t fathom what’s growing along the splintered path; and you can’t feel the undertow deep within the earth’s belly, primal forces rippling outward.

Although none of her children could see, they still enjoyed the undertow at it pulled them along at twice the speed of light within the confines of their combined liquid-imagination.

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There are two kinds of writers. There is the writer who can create three rough drafts for short stories per week, if they can find the time. This type of writer can do this easily.

Then there is another type of writer. This is the writer who painstakingly labors over what he pens, worrying about word placement, style, plot and depth of characterization.

(Note: There is a 3rd writer, too, a combination of both types of writers described above. They’ll claim that. I’m betting that they belong to one type over another, and are simply experimenting or simply trying to find their niche’, but that is for another essay.)

What you’re about to read is intended for the first kind of writer. If the second type of writer practices what you’re about to read, they risk falling into writer’s block. This is because the 2nd type of writer ALREAY intrinsically practices what I’m about to describe.

Now I’m the 1st type of writer. I can easily write 3 rough drafts per week. If I have the gumption, it’s easy for me. While I differ from other writers who fall into this category, this is how and why I can do this:

1) I am very creative. I can come up with story ideas that are (to me) fairly interesting, and I do this easily. There is no need for me to scribble down notes during the day, because when I sit before my laptop, ideas literally pour out of my head. Sometimes those ideas are so creative and simply too big to become a short story, and thus those ideas cannot be captured by a story of that length. Thus there is TOO much stuff in the story.

I’m not saying that writers who fall under the 2nd category aren’t creative; all I’m saying is that writers who fall under the 1st category (we need a name, so let’s call them write-a-holics) are almost always bursting at the seams with story ideas.

2) I type very fast. This gives me the ability to virtually type out my thoughts as I’m thinking them, which allows for the purest form of inspiration to materialize on paper. There is no painstaking contemplation of plot or characterization or depth or intrigue that the 2nd writer (let’s call this writer the perfectionist) constantly utilizes while writing.

3) I have very low self-esteem regarding my writing. I’m always picking fault with it. Because of this, I intrinsically realize that whatever I’m writing, it’s not going to be the best. Just about everything I write I consider a “rough draft.” This is one of the best reasons I can write so many stories per week. In the back of my mind, they simply do not matter.

The perfectionist doesn’t think that way. The perfectionist painstakingly crafts every word to set perfectly in his magnum opus. He slowly forms the plot, sometimes etching out the middle or ending of the story, much like a sculpture forming various bits and pieces from blocks of marble. Just as the sculpture may start at the face or the feet—wherever inspiration hits him—the perfectionist analytically approaches the story in segments, perfecting each.

I said all that to say this…

Why do we write-a-holics create rough drafts? Why can’t we produce the next-big-thing? Why should we strive to write like what the markets want, anyway? Just to get a publishing credit? Are the markets the Holy Word on All Things Pertaining to Writing? Will those publications be around fifty years from now? Why would we sacrifice our stories for the editorial cunning of someone at a publication that will be defunct in ten years?

Why shouldn’t we write-a-holics approach writing like golf? In golf, it’s not about your opponent. Not really. It’s about your best score on the golf course. It’s about maintaining and (hopefully) exceeding your best performance on the field. It’s not about your opponents. Some are better than you, some are worse. None of that matters; what truly matters is that you maintain your performance somewhere around your average. If you’re under par by 3 points, you naturally attempt to maintain that average, and to hell with the other players, even those who maintain an average of golfing 6 under par every single game.

Why can’t we write-a-holics excel? Why can’t the next story we write be the best story we’ve ever written, the best story we’ll ever write? Why can’t we believe that? Why don’t we forget the cookie-cutter writing-templates? Why do we HAVE to start right at the action? Why can’t we go beyond plot, beyond mere characterization?

Why can’t we write-a-holics attempt to create a mood or theme? What about penning a story with the theme being creepiness? Above and beyond a good plot and strong characters, why can’t we go for producing a visceral reaction with the reader? If not creepiness, then why not attempt to manufacture true fear within the reader? Not based on gimmicks such as monsters or gore or taboo subjects, but based on solid and pure writing.

Why can’t the next thing we write be perfect? Why does it have to be considered a rough draft? Why does it have to be “shelved” for years until we decide to do something with it? Why can’t we break free from our “average” and go beyond what the guidelines publications demand? Why can’t we break free from that “average” story locked in our mind—that “average” story that we almost always write—and create that perfect story that goes beyond our average writing game? Does our experimental writing have to be rough-draft-crap?

Why can’t we experiment like jOhn Lovero did in the recent, marvelous story he just posted in a private web office (he combined Hawthorne and another writer, creating an experimental piece of fiction that I found simply marvelous)? Why can’t we try new things? Why must our fiction be held accountable by the guidelines of our own imagination? Why MUST we write a certain way? Why MUST we obey all the freaking rules? Why MUST we maintain a specific plot sequence from A to B?

By now you probably understand why I said earlier in this post that these suggestions are NOT for perfectionists. Perfectionists automatically do this from the get-go. In fact, perfectionists often fall into writer’s block, because they feel so strongly that the next thing they write simply MUST be the best thing they’ve ever written PERIOD… that when they read what they’ve written, they metaphorically vomit with derision, hating everything they’ve produced. If a perfectionist practices what I’ve just written above, it will already seal the perfection they insist on EVERY TIME THEY WRITE.

This isn’t intended for the perfectionist. This topic is for the write-a-holics out there, those write-a-holics who can easily pen 2-3 stories per week, those authors who can hit 2,000-,5000 per day (if they have time), and feel natural and great doing so.

I think there comes a time in the write-a-holic’s life that he must stop, take a step back, and ask himself, What the heck am I doing? He must examine his writing (golfing) average, and contemplate his writing game.

Maybe the write-a-holic should take a few suggestions from the perfectionists out there. Maybe he should begin with the middle of the story like perfectionists often do. Maybe the write-a-holic should attempt to mix Hawthorn and another respected writer’s style—let’s say John Grisham because the two combined writer’s styles would be very interesting—combining both writing styles with his own personal writer’s voice.

Instead of having the mindset that the next story we write is just a rough draft, is just an idea, just a story… just another piece of crap from another piece of writer who will stuff the crappy story in a file to be forgotten about…

Instead of having that mindset, what if we write-a-holics could take a cue from the perfectionists out there? What if we—instead of gushing forth with words until we transform into dry husks of delighted and satiated emptiness—began the next work with the idea that it WILL be perfect? What if the NEXT story we write, what if we intend it to MEAN something, to CONTAIN some meaning of worthwhile purpose? What if there is a moral to the next story we write OTHER THAN MUNDANE ENTERTAINMENT?

What if we write-a-holic writers could write just one story—the very next one we write—with the intention that it is to be perfect? What if we could be a perfectionist, if just for one story, if just for one day?

For my next story, I will make it perfect to the best of my ability. I won’t just write a rough draft. I won’t just spill my guts on paper. I won’t let my thoughts bleed crimson, I won’t just gush forth with creative ideas and inspiration.

No, for my next story, it’s going to be my magnum opus. I’m going to approach it slower. Each word will be carefully chosen, like well-placed dynamite hidden through the edifices of the reader’s expectations. And I will push the plunger down, I will light the fuse that sets off a charge that will cause the reader’s expectations to crumble, causing the reader to become engrossed in more than just mundane plot and strong characters.

Yes, my dear reader (probably only one or two) will become engrossed in my story, because it ISN’T a rough draft, because it ISN’T just another cookie-cutter template chosen because it’s safe.

Hell, no! My next story is going to be DANGEROUS! It’s going to produce a theme within the reader. Perhaps it will be a feeling of creepiness, or a twinge of fear mixed with loss.

After this next “perfect” story, I will go back to my old ways. I will succumb to natural inclination, penning imperfect rough draft after mediocre story, until I am hitting 2-3 stories per week (again).

But until then… I am leaving the camps of write-a-holics, going AWOL in order to broach the ideas of the Perfectionists.

If only for one story…

What the hell are we doing?

 

Everybody’s got an ezine, an online magazine. Everybody’s chasing that dream of doing something great and wonderful and worthwhile. Everybody’s going to write the Great American Novel.

 

Except that… they’re not.

 

Not everybody is going to write a novel that will go around the world. Not everybody will produce an ezine that will survive longer than five years. Not everybody will become a publisher whose novels will saturate the earth with words like rain.

 

But we do it anyway, don’t we? Why?

 

One reason is the simplicity of doing any of this at all. It’s easy—so incredibly easy—all this self-publishing and starting up ezines. So incredibly easy these days. The ease transitions the masses into the sheer volume of self-published ezines and novels until a tsunami-wave of words rises high enough to topple even the most prodigious of publishing houses. The noise becomes a cacophony of “Support me!” and “BUY MY BOOK!” and “JOIN MY LINKED-IN.COM!” and a host of other pleas.

 

“Please support us at Preditors and Editors poll!”

 

“Please recommend me for a Bram Stoker!”

 

“Please read my ezine!”

 

“Please befriend me at Facebook!”

 

“Please read my story at Smashwords! If you won’t buy it, that’s okay because I’ll give it away for free. Just read me, please, for the love of God read my story! Tell me you love me! Just read the words of my soul and turn the pages of my mind, and I’ll be so incredibly happy that I could just die.”

 

But we can’t devote all of our attention to all the white-noise. Speed-readers call it the “word blizzard,” those unread emails, those extra briefings and notes at work we neglect because there isn’t enough time in the day to actually read them all. We begin ignoring the pleas to read the new ezines and books and stories. Because all the white noise has become a true cacophony, entailing everything that the definition of the word means.

 

It’s a true cacophony out there. Nothing but white-noise.

 

And all this white-noise (all these blogs and ezines and anthologies from all the masses of writers who can so easily set up a new website that will disappear in two years)… all this white noise numbs the senses, tears down the sales of the big-boy publishers so that traditional publishing houses that have been around since the 1800s are falling off the face of the earth, going bankrupt, ceasing to exist. Laying off copyeditors and editors. Downsizing and shrinking like cancer bombarded by the radiation of chemotherapy.

 

All this is happening because of the white-noise. All this is happening because there is the transition of power from the echelons at the top of the business pyramid (major publishers) shifting to the Bottom of the Pyramid or BOP’s control (small-press publishers and Amzon.com).

 

When one brings about a new voice, a new style or new type of monster (Novus Creatura), that voice is lost in the cacophony of voices. Even when that voice screams, the sound is lost in the white-noise-silence that numbs the world, that constant drone that becomes the sound of silence crafted out of screaming promotionals and advertisements, until only numbing silence remains. Until a void is created. And that void grows into the lack of sales, and that lack of sales makes new publishers of ezines fold and fail after one or two years.

 

But there are other publishers out there that do not crack, that do not fold or fail to bring readers the best copyedited fiction, to bring new stories and voices to the masses. And despite those masses being hypnotized by the white-noise of the BOP, they continue to produce quality fiction day-in and day-out.

 

http://liquid-imagination.com/toothandclaw/

 

http://liquid-imagination.com/toothandclaw/

Link  —  Posted: January 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

What have we (my dynamic team of editors, artists and publishing gurus) accomplished in the last year at Liquid Imaginaton Online? For starters, for November our website received 72,404 total internet hits. We began a marketing program to promote New York Times Bestselling author David Farland’s newsletter for writers. I, personally, graduated college with an associates degree in journalism to be applied to marketing, and I also obtained the National English Honor Society’s Sigma Kappa Delta. Besides that, the fruit of a novel-seed I planted a ways back will be published through Dopamalovi Books.

We also published a werewolf anthology in several different formats for your convenience. You can hear the wolf howling here: http://liquid-imagination.com/toothandclaw/

Below are the stats of Liquid Imagination Online (www.Liquid-Imagination.com). The stats can be found here: www.Liquid-Imagination.com/webalizer. Within the pages of LI, you may glimpse something beautiful, you may get a whiff of magic. That’s because dreams are sealed within each webpage, like the dreams within your own heart. We, at LI, believe we can fly. We believe in the magic of stories and poetry and artwork. We embrace technology in all its forms. And while many other webzines, ezines, publications and print journals are folding, Liquid Imagination will be around for a long time.

This is the future! This is 2012! And we represent what you’re reading!

Never forget: we’re all in this together!

Yippie!

Monthly Statistics for November 2011
Total Hits 72404
Total Files 39976
Total Pages 14656
Total Visits 6285
Total KBytes 1148240
Total Unique Sites 4477
Total Unique URLs 1879
Total Unique Referrers 1169
Total Unique User Agents 1221
. Avg Max
Hits per Hour 107 2538
Hits per Day 2585 6571
Files per Day 1427 3525
Pages per Day 523 961
Sites per Day 159 485
Visits per Day 224 283
KBytes per Day 41009 109470

This is one of the websites that I just haven’t devoted enough time to. That said, the most popular webpage was about Jeff Brown (also known as the writer AJ Brown). He has 3 stories coming out sometime in ebook form sometime this next year, and as a writer he simply rocks.

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

werewolf

Book No. 1 Tooth and Claw (You can purchase individual stories, too!) This enhanced e-book anthology began with a howl within this office, and it echoes stll among the hills of Facebook, Twitter and in the hearts of werewolf lovers everywhere!
Tooth and Claw

Book No. 2 High Moor by Graeme Reynolds
I highly recommend this novel! It felt like I was reading something put out by the big publishers. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. I’ll be writing the book review for this one personally, and it will be full of praise.
High Moor

Book No. 3 Battle of the Two Paths (coming soon) by John “JAM” Arthur Miller
Battle of the Two Paths

Book No. 4 Wolves Dressed as Men by Steve Lowe
The werewolf novel that sunk its claws into me and pulled me back to face my greatest fear.
Wolves Dressed as Men

Dangerous Dreams!!!

Posted: December 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

It’s all wrong. Everything you’ve thought about selling books: all wrong.

 

I’ve been researching the best way for NO-NAMES like us to sell books. I have answers. We’ll see if they hold up. My research has led me into researching Google, Adwords, Google Analytics and other things.

 

I won’t be sharing this information publically or even in this office. Because I want to try it out with Liquid Imagination first. Can’t blame me there, can you.

 

Everything we’ve been taught about writing is wrong. Just look up quotes from well-respected writers.

 

Everything you know about the universe is wrong. But you’d have to read the book I just wrote for NanoWrite to figure that out. And that won’t be edited for months.

 

Everything you’ve ever believed about Zoetrope is a lie. Just look around. It’s dead. Everyone here is a ghost living in a ghost town. Their souls reside at Facebook and Twitter.

 

The future is unfolding before our very eyes. You can’t stop it. You’ll see major publishers dwindling, the power going to the people. In the past all power was controlled by the CEOs of major organizations. In the future, this power will belong to the BOP (Bottom of the Pyramid).

 

The pyramid I’m referring to is where one powerful CEO rules at the uppermost point, and the little people are at the bottom.

 

In the future, this pyramid will be turned upside-down, with the BOP ruling all. Just look at how the BOP created uprisings and revolutions in the Middle East. Just look at the Occupy movement going on in America now.

 

Did you see the movie Gandhi?

 

Did you see the movie Field of Dreams?

 

Do you look in the mirror and see the future? Because you are. The future, I mean.

Liquid Tweets

Posted: November 21, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

https://twitter.com/share

Night Life

Posted: October 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

This is an article that I wrote for journalism. I turned it in having just received the information a few hours ago. So it’s rough. The instructor may tear into it. That isn’t the reason I’m posting it, however.

The reason I’m posting it is simply because this beat reporter is so cool! And he’s speaking during my journalism class on Tuesday!

(No Title)

PEORIA—Matt Buedel’s job requires him to be ready to respond
at a moment’s notice, and what he does has real impact on people’s lives. He’s
not a physician or a policeman. Nor is he a fireman or a civil service employee.
He’s a beat reporter covering crime for the Greater Peoria Area.

How does
a reporter’s job have real impact? In Buedel’s case, it involves believing in
what you do.

“One of the better quotes about what a journalist does,”
Buedel said, “is, ‘Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.’”

One of his recent stories involved a woman unfairly targeted by a police
officer for a loaded gun discovered in the backseat of a car. She was harassed
by the officer for her “noninvolvement,” as Buedel put it.

The officer’s
out-of-line behavior resulted in the woman’s car being confiscated, a $520 cost
to get it out of impound.

Buedel inquired about the incident. He made a
few phone calls and wrote the story. As a result, the woman received her car
back for free.

“That’s a tangible difference,” Buedel said, who
obviously believes in what he does.

Although not everyone knows Buedel,
if they have read the Peoria Journal Star then they’ve felt his influence. The
newspaper reaches a circulation of approximately 65,000 people daily. Whether he
writes about the 57 grams of marijuana found by police on May 20th of this year,
or the fire that ripped through a row of historic buildings in Minonk, he sheds
light on police and fire activity for readers.

Engaged and with a
seven-year-old daughter, the 32-year-old Buedel has worked for the Peoria
Journal Star 12 years. During that time, he has covered transportation, worked
as a state desk reporter, and covered both Tazwell and Woodford County
Government. Crime is his beat now.

When asked whether there’s a
difference between working the crime beat or covering other news beats, he said,
“Absolutely! In the most basic way: attire. You generally don’t need to be
prepared at any moment to stand outside in a freezing downpour all day as a city
hall reporter. But that’s what I have to be ready for in case of a major fire or
other incidents—like the Minonk fire yesterday.”

Buedel said he made his
news contacts mostly through regular interaction with officials at the scene of
the crime and at other proceedings. He’s on the street or at the police station
every day, writing four-to-five stories per week.

In today’s
technological world, reporters not only write their articles, they also post a
blog, take pictures or video, then tweet the information and use social media
sites like Facebook to get each story out. According to Buedel, in today’s world
all reporters do more with less.

 

(No Title)

PEORIA—Matt Buedel’s job requires him to be ready to respond
at a moment’s notice, and what he does has real impact on people’s lives. He’s
not a physician or a policeman. Nor is he a fireman or a civil service employee.
He’s a beat reporter covering crime for the Greater Peoria Area.

How does
a reporter’s job have real impact? In Buedel’s case, it involves believing in
what you do.

“One of the better quotes about what a journalist does,”
Buedel said, “is, ‘Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.’”

One of his recent stories involved a woman unfairly targeted by a police
officer for a loaded gun discovered in the backseat of a car. She was harassed
by the officer for her “noninvolvement,” as Buedel put it.

The officer’s
out-of-line behavior resulted in the woman’s car being confiscated, a $520 cost
to get it out of impound.

Buedel inquired about the incident. He made a
few phone calls and wrote the story. As a result, the woman received her car
back for free.

“That’s a tangible difference,” Buedel said, who
obviously believes in what he does.

Although not everyone knows Buedel,
if they have read the Peoria Journal Star then they’ve felt his influence. The
newspaper reaches a circulation of approximately 65,000 people daily. Whether he
writes about the 57 grams of marijuana found by police on May 20th of this year,
or the fire that ripped through a row of historic buildings in Minonk, he sheds
light on police and fire activity for readers.

Engaged and with a
seven-year-old daughter, the 32-year-old Buedel has worked for the Peoria
Journal Star 12 years. During that time, he has covered transportation, worked
as a state desk reporter, and covered both Tazwell and Woodford County
Government. Crime is his beat now.

When asked whether there’s a
difference between working the crime beat or covering other news beats, he said,
“Absolutely! In the most basic way: attire. You generally don’t need to be
prepared at any moment to stand outside in a freezing downpour all day as a city
hall reporter. But that’s what I have to be ready for in case of a major fire or
other incidents—like the Minonk fire yesterday.”

Buedel said he made his
news contacts mostly through regular interaction with officials at the scene of
the crime and at other proceedings. He’s on the street or at the police station
every day, writing four-to-five stories per week.

In today’s
technological world, reporters not only write their articles, they also post a
blog, take pictures or video, then tweet the information and use social media
sites like Facebook to get each story out. According to Buedel, in today’s world
all reporters do more with less.

Stephen King has attacked Stephenie Myer’s prose, plot and purpose of her bestselling books, not remembering that he was in her shoes back in the seventies. Nobody took King seriously back then. At first the critics ignored him. Then they attacked him. Now they’re finally beginning to take him seriously.

Robert Hunt once wrote of King, “Carrie was a potboiler, a routine entry in the then popular cycle of books about possessed kids. Cujo is silly, and Christine even sillier, with the film’s few impressive moments the result of John Carpenter moving away from King’s ‘hot-rod version of Carrie’ toward an emphasis on human characters. Cat’s Eye succeeds better than did Creepshow, although largely because the later film is perhaps the sort of thing that King… does best: simple, slightly familiar suspense situations that don’t take themselves too seriously.”

Hunt feels that the films are superior to King’s novels.

Kirkus Review (15th August, 1975) referred to Salem’s Lot as “superexorcism that leavest he taste of somebody else’s blood in your mouth and what a bad taste it is… Vampirism, necrophilia, et dreaful alia RATHER OVERPLAYED… (emphasis mine)”

Jack Sullivan’s “Ten Ways to Write a Gothic,” appearing in the New York Times Book Review in February, 1977, takes King severely to task for stylistic blunders: “To say Stephen King is not an elegant writer… is putting it mildly.” He particularly dislikes King’s use of parentheses, capitals and exclamation marks as points of emphasis in The Shining. “Sometimes non-punctuation or italics are used—quite arbitrarily—for gimmicky stream of consciousness effect.” In addition, the novel’s plot is obviously a re-working of Poe, Blackwood, and Lovecraft, as well as such films as Diabolique, Psycho, and the Village of the Damned…

Michael Mewshaw similarly attacked King. In New York times Book Review (26th March, 1978) he speaks of Night Shift stories as suffering form “twist endings that should have died with O. Henrgy, the hoariest clichés of the horror-tale subgenre… and lines that provoke smiles rather than terror.”

I could go on and on, but what’s the point? King was the original Stephenie Myer, ignored then ostracized by literary critics who loathed the facts that his books sold. They hated how he used punctuation. In the reviews above you can sum up their critiques into this one statement: King overwrites.

If King’s analysis of Meyer’s work is accurate—that it’s poor and limited writing—then it’s no wonder, because the critical reviews of King’s own writing is that it is overwritten.

The one thing that comes to mind is, that now that King has been receiving more literary acclaim, he is joining those literary elements he once waged war against during his early writing career. He has jumped ship, leaving behind being known simply as a writer (as he admitted time and time again that he is only a writer, stating that responses to the literary critics concerning his fiction will be resolved in the next fifty-years), and King has plunged headlong into attacking a successful writer the same way he was originally attacked after his first novel Carrie came out.

King has been attacked for overwriting, for using too many punctuation marks and parenthesis. King was also attacked for having nothing of substance, exactly as he is attacking Stephenie Myer today. To say that necrophilia is and men masturbating in women’s underwear is superior to the Twilight series is almost like comparing dog shit to vomit, apples to oranges, Lady Gaga to Boy George.

In the end, who cares whether King’s right or not concerning Stephenie Myer? The fact of the matter is that his own writing is overwritten, and one has to dredge through one-hundred pages before King hooks you. Readers have developed a trust in King, believing that after that initial one-hundred pages of drivel, he will hook them with entertainment.

Personally, I don’t have a lot of time. I would much rather get some meat within the first one-hundred pages rather than after. And while I’ve never read more than twenty-pages of Stephenie Myer’s Twilight, it seems odd that King would attack her. I have to wonder if he’s peeved that her bestselling novels have cut into his own paychecks.

Myer is simply obeying the first rule of business: she’s supplying a demand. King supplied a demand back in the seventies, much to the chagrin of literary critics everywhere. Now he has used his PR machine (instead of calling himself horror writer, he labels himself a “brand name”) to market himself out of literary absurdity among critics, and aligns himself more closely to the literary universities that have been honoring him with awards lately. By attacking the next Stephen King (who I say is Stephenie Myer), he is joining more closely to the literary critics who made his life a living hell in the beginning of his career.

One thing King has definitely accomplished is the creation of a metaphorical roadmap for Stephenie Myer. Although attacked today, she simply has to keep writing exactly the same way just as King wrote his way through the eighties and nineties (well, Stephenie Myer needn’t describe necrophilia or men masturbating in women’s underwear for her teen audiences as King did). Thirty-years later, following in King’s footsteps, Stephenie Myer can begin associating herself with professors from universities. Eventually she, too, may be honored by the magic of PR and marketing which has the power to change the world’s perceptions, and take a Stephen King’s necrophilia-masturbations and transform it into highest literature.

King began writing to those who wanted horror.

Stephenie Myer began writing to young girls who wanted magic in their romance.

King was attacked for his writing.

Stephenie Myer was attacked for her writing.

King supplied a demand for horror fans.

Stephenie Myer supplied a demand for younger audiences (minus the necrophilia and masturbation scenes).

King is now being heralded as being “closer” to literary greatness.

Stephenie Myer will have to make it through the next thirty-years. Even then she may never make it, because King has become that which he hated in his own writing career, when he was the original Stephenie Myer just trying to belong in the literary world.

No matter what you say about Stephenie Myer, no matter what you say about Stephen King, what they write sells. Both their writing has strengths and weaknesses. Both can be outspoken. Stephen King, once like the rogue band Greenday thumbing his nose at literary critics, has jumped ship and might as well put on a suit and tie.

Stephenie Myer will probably want to wear a business dress in thirty-years when taking her place beside King. Don’t say it can’t or won’t happen. The critics from the seventies who bashed King are now turning over in their graves as King is being honored repeatedly by universities and the literary world.

So I don’t think Stephenie Myer should worry about King’s criticism, especially since he was the first Stephenie Myer. She shouldn’t worry just because King committed mutiny and jumped ship, landing beside the very literary critics he once fought. He stands beside them now, turning in synchronistic perfection (a robot among robots), their faces trained against Stephenie Myer who is still in the boat. King picks up whatever he can hurl at her, just like a good literary critic (and aren’t these parenthesis reminiscent of King’s stylistic work?).

The truth of the matter is that in the next fifty-years—or the next five-hundred—it is doubtful that either King or Stephenie Myer will even be remembered. It’s possible that an unknown like Emily Dickinson or Lovecraft may be more famous than them. Or maybe Salmon Rushdie or some other writer from our time will exceed everyone else. The only thing that matters, in the end, isn’t how many books are sold. Edgar Allan Poe knew this. That’s why he became a harsh critic in his time, just as King has become a critic of Stephenie Myer.

Is it possible that King wants to follow in Poe’s footsteps? Probably. But who cares? I just want to get through the next hundred pages before I fall asleep.