What’s news with horror writer Paul D. Dail
I’d like to thank Blaze McRob for featuring me and The Imaginings at his blog. Blaze is quite the philanthropist and uses any opportunity to help promote other writers, so I really appreciate him picking me for this entry. To see it, click here.
What does the future hold?
Both the Versatile Blogger and the Kreativ Blogger award require me to post seven things that readers might find interesting about me. So that will be my post next Friday.
But without further ado…
I haven’t done any research, but I don’t think I saw anyone else besides myself linking up the annular solar eclipse this past Sunday with the end of days.
I made that connection.
But in the end, the world didn’t end. Again.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me give you a little background.
First about the eclipse. An “annular eclipse” is where the new moon passes in front of the sun, but is visually smaller than the sun, giving the reported “ring of fire” (as opposed to the total eclipse where the moon blocks out the sun entirely).
The last annular eclipse was in January of 2010, and the next one will be May of 2013. However, the last annular eclipse visible in the United States was in 1994, and the next won’t be again until 2023.
Okay, so it’s not anything like Haley’s Comet, but the thing about this recent annular eclipse was that the “sweet spot” for viewing the eclipse in the United States happened to fall on the small town of Kanarraville, Utah, where I live.
Add in the fact that I’m a horror writer with a Cold War influenced upbringing and you will see it wasn’t too much of a stretch that I might link a big astronomical event in my small town of 300 people with the impending apocalypse.
That damn movie 2012 didn’t help. Even though the current popular thought (at least among us crazies) is that December of this year will be the end of time, the 2009 movie purported that it actually happened earlier, like in the Summer (personally I thought this was to somewhat mitigate the traumatizing effects of showing the end of the world with Christmas decorations).
And as I’ve said before (actually in my first-ever rather lengthy post), while I may pooh-pooh these modern day doomsdayers and soothsayers, a good part of me is never really comfortable until our potential expiration date has passed.
So naturally I hosted a party, a party I coined the Solar Apoca-clipse Party. As did the town of Kanarraville. Or rather the party found the town of Kanarraville, a quiet town twenty minutes away from any real amenities (there’s not even a gas station in town) and descended on it.
However, from what I saw, even in the reported 10,000 people that showed up to witness this event, there was nary a doomsdayer or soothsayer.
Of course, that didn’t make me feel much better. After all, what if I was the only one who knew the truth?
[Starting to get a glimpse of what it’s like to be me? ]
Now it’s important that you know that I actually live about two miles west of town, in the middle of the sagebrush and pinion junipers. When I first heard about this event, thinking that there would be many more like myself in attendance (project much? asks Dr. Freud), I was actually thinking that Jennifer and my daughters should go into town to her parents’ house, and I would sit on my deck with some form of a firearm (which I would actually have to borrow from someone) and protect my property.
Thus the idea of the Solar Apoca-clipsed Party was born–originally (and really only briefly) a solely male, well-armed party. I know, I know, but one of my friends is a National Park law enforcement officer, so he wouldn’t let anything too stupid happen.
As the date grew closer, I started to loosen up. Again, maybe it was the making light of the whole thing, joking over drinks with friends. Certainly the world isn’t going to actually end, right? The party became non-gender specific. It would be a good opportunity to get some friends together for a pretty rare event.
But was I still writing the scary stories in my head? You bettcha. I had all the scenarios going in the days preceding the event. And even though it ended up being merely an eclipse, I definitely have a few story ideas that went onto a backburner to simmer.
I would’ve liked to have done more research…actually witnessed the event from the maybe thirty acre field closer to town where the sweetest of the “sweet spot” was supposed to be, but I had a party to host.
And besides, I had ventured down about four hours before the eclipse was scheduled to begin and got the idea that I would be much happier among friends than hanging out in the dusty, dry, exposed field where people milled around and a handful of vendors had set up shop to sell their wares.
There were, of course, the booths that you see at any event, from a monster truck rally to a feminist “Take Back the Night” gathering. These are the entrepreneurs, looking for any opportunity to make a buck. But there were also the booths that were specific to events like these, vendors with names like “Mystic Treasures,” and “Artifacts of the Ancients.” Crystals and tye-dyes.
But no one that looked too crazy. No one wearing sandwich boards proclaiming: “The End is Nigh.” So I went back to my house satisfied that I had made the better choice and that if nothing else, my property wouldn’t be threatened by whackos (or at least not whackos that I didn’t know).
The eclipse started at about 6:30, just as I was pulling the first rounds of burgers off the grill, but it would be an hour before full eclipse, at which point the scene on my yard was reminiscent of the pictures you see of people watching the atomic bomb testing in the 50’s (and ironically enough, we live in an area that is still seeing the effect of “downwinder’s syndrome”).
But in the end, the world didn’t end. Again.
However, there were still a couple of amusing effects which I attribute to my sense of paranoia. While my mother, who lives about 300 yards away from us and was in attendance at our party, was excited about the influx of the “astro-tourists” into our small burg, she also expressed what she described as a looming sense of threat.
But otherwise, the exciting ending will just have to wait until I write it.
That is, if we make it past December.
What do I want from you?
What do you think about all this end of the world business?
If you want to read more of my opinions on this topic, I actually wrote two posts which you can find here:
Finally, don’t forget to check back next Friday for seven more (hopefully) interesting facts about me.
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