Good morning, all! It’s the first day of November, and the day after Halloween (funny how often it seems to work out like that). I hope those of you who celebrated had an enjoyable time yesterday making light of the dark things by pretending to be them, and laughing, and having some candy and other treats. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I dressed up for work (as a dark cowboy…sort of an amalgam of the Man in Black and the Gunslinger from Stephen King’s The Dark Tower), but I really didn’t do anything else to celebrate. I got home too late—and was too darn tired—to participate in giving out candy to trick-or-treaters, so I basically just laid around in the evening, trying and failing to get a good night’s sleep.
My writing goes well, though more slowly than I would prefer. Unanimity approaches one of its most terrible moments, after which events will come truly to a head, and the conclusion will be rendered. It won’t be a happy ending, I’m afraid, but the “bad guy” will be defeated, and the surviving good people will do their best to get on with their lives. This is often the best for which we can hope, whether in real life or in stories. Very few characters—real or imaginary—have the option of sailing into the West, into the Undying Lands, to find healing.
I’ve thrown a little reference, or whatever one might call it, to my story Hole for a Heart into Unanimity, since some of the characters in the novel happen to pass by the site where that short story took place. It seems that these tales take place in the same world, or at least very similar ones, and the presence of the malefactor from the short story is felt by, and may even have a slight influence on, those characters in Unanimity who come near it.
Penal Colony is now very nearly finished. Once it is, I’ll complete In the Shade before going back to rewrite and edit either short story. And of course, most importantly, Unanimity will continue to its conclusion. All this is, of course, assuming nothing bad happens to me in the meantime. We do live, in some senses, in a horror story—potentially, at least—and though for the most part we exist in the times of respite, the shadow still always takes on new forms and grows again. The trouble with real life is that the horrors are often less easily spotted and recognized for what they are than in books, plays, movies, and the like. They are often within us more than they are outside, and we become our own Great Old Ones, our own Crawling Chaos.
Maybe that’s part of why we enjoy dressing up on Halloween so much.
While we’re on the subject of darkness and horror, next week is the second Thursday of the new month, and I’m overdue to write a new episode of “My heroes have always been villains.” I look forward to it, really, and I think I know which villain I’m going to choose, though I may change my mind. In any case, those of you who are interested—if such people exist—can also look forward to it. This is, again, all and always assuming that some dark force or entity hasn’t swallowed me up whole between now and then. We can only wait and see.
With that, short though it’s been, the time is gone, and the song is over…though in my case, today, I didn’t honestly think I had more to say. I offer you all my condolences in facing the inevitable and abrupt onslaught of Christmas carols, decorations, shopping, and the like which will begin to rear their heads by today, if they haven’t so reared already. Don’t get me wrong, Christmas, Hanukkah, Saturnalia, the Winter Solstice…these things are fine and fun, but the concept creep, and the time creep, of the promotional lead-in has gotten slightly out of hand. I hope you find joy in it, no matter how overpowering or overdone it gets.