“The Shadow Out Of Innsmouth”, H.P. Lovecraft

I shall plan my cousin’s escape from that Canton mad-house, and together we shall go to marvel-shadowed Innsmouth. We shall swim out to that brooding reef in the sea and dive down through black abysses to Cyclopean and many-columned Y’ha-nthlei, and in that lair of the Deep Ones we shall dwell amidst wonder and glory for ever.

Oh, I have so much to say about Lovecraft.

The first work of his I read was either “The Dunwich Horror” or “Pickman’s Model”. I didn’t start noticing how stridently he kept bringing up race and miscegenation for a long time, to which the only defense that I can offer is that I started way young (and I actually have something else to say about my tendency to not question authorial voice, which is a different issue for another time).

But this quote; this one chimes with me. Because while I believe Lovecraft thought he was writing a terrible horror story about the triumph of degeneration, the more I read it the more it’s about a triumphant escape, and coming home, and realizing who you are to dwell in a place of loveliness and acceptance.

(Also, you know, Deep Ones. Who are neat, although I prefer ghouls.)

Oh, write.

So in the last week I got bitten by the writing bug again, which – combined with waking up before 6 a.m. every morning – has resulted in several thousand words. This is not great, compared to what I’ve done in the past, but it is certainly one hell of an improvement.

I’ve missed this “have to get it down!” feeling. I’m not sure if it’s been absent due to stress or weather or what, but I’m really glad it’s back.

Cabal, Clive Barker

For now, they had simpler concerns. Keeping the children from the roofs at night, the bereaved from crying out too loud, the young in summer from falling in love with the human. It was a life.

I think this one appeals because it actually focuses on the quiet or peaceful life of a society, rather than a handful of individuals. It kind of pulls back and gives you space to relax.

(Also, you know, hidden society of monsters.)

Mind, I generally find Barker’s style to be dreamy and faintly detached; I’m not sure it would work as well if he wasn’t building on an entire novel in the same vein. Either way, though, it’s very relaxing.