Some pretty big news, actually. The picture I’ve included here is a shot of the newest addition to soon join the Dail family (trust me, there’s a baby there somewhere :)). Having gone through IVF for our daughter, we are referring to this new one as our little Festivus miracle (Seinfeld anyone?)
On top of that good news, my daughter’s second birthday is this month. While some days it seems like much longer than that, mostly I can’t believe she’s almost two.
So in honor of my children (and in hopes of a bright future provided to them by their writer father), I am putting The Imaginings on sale for 99 cents for the month of February. Help me spread the word.
And if you feel so inclined, you might enjoy my post, Slowing Down: On the birth of my daughter.
What does the future hold?
Next Friday, I will finish what I start this week (wow, that sounds so final). “End of the World Stories We Hate to Love, Part II (Oryx and Crake through Zombie stories)
But without further ado…
If you haven’t read my first ever blog post (Why do I like to write horror stories?)… well, I can’t blame you. Coming in at about 1800 words, it was posted before I heard bloggers were supposed to be a little more brief.
But a theme I mention there (and in other posts) is that I grew up on the tail end of the Cold War. As a child, I was pretty well convinced that any new day could bring nuclear annihilation. I still remember the bombing drills we did in school.
That kind of stuff will scar a kid. I’m no psychologist, but I think it explains why my generation is so well known for its embracing of extreme sports. The world could end any second. Why not try jumping off that skyscraper with a parachute?
I’m going to save a little of my possible explanations for next week, but for today I’ll just say that I think having grown a little older, that fear we grew up with has cultivated a healthy respect for stories that show civilization’s imminent destruction. For me, it touches on something akin to other’s childhood monsters and boogeymen… something that could still be lurking just around the corner.
And there are some good stories that play on this fear/fascination. I’m just going to list ten over the span of these two posts, so I look forward to your own comments and contributions.
Chronologically speaking, I’m going to start with The Holy Bible (don’t worry, I’ll get to 2012 in next week’s post, but it won’t address the Mayans so much as be an airing of my complaints about the 2009 movie).
So NOW without further ado…
THE HOLY BIBLE- This is kind of the granddaddy of scary stories, right? Especially the Book of Revelation. Are you kidding me? I’ll be honest, I haven’t read it in years, and I didn’t have a strict religious upbringing, but there is some imagery in those pages that I will never forget. This is God’s wrath after all, and just when the New Testament had painted Him not to be the vengeful pissed off God of the Old Testament. Nothing like Christianity to put a little fear of the end of the world. After all, no one wants to be “left behind.”
MICHEL DE NOSTREDAME (NOSTRADAMUS 1503-1566)- Did anyone else see “The Man Who Saw Tomorrow” about Nostradamus, hosted by a late-seventies Orson Welles? Again, tail end of the cold war, and with everything else they were saying Nostradamus “predicted correctly,” when they started talking about the man with the blue turban who would start World War III, well, hello nightmares again.
Funny side note: I saw this program again maybe eight years ago (actually probably pretty close. It was probably re-aired in honor of Nostradamus’s 500th birthday). Same version with Orson Welles, but they had changed some of the predictions that had lapsed since its original airing. Or at least their interpretations of his predictions. Didn’t seem quite so scary this time around.
THE STAND (1978)- Written by Stephen King. I talk about this one a little more at my post, My Own Works Cited List: 10 books that have inspired me, if you’re curious. It had it all. A government conspiracy. A super flu that spreads quicker than wildfire (and a terrifying chapter to illustrate this point). And ultimately a showdown between Good and Evil. And where does Evil set up camp? In Las Vegas, of course.
THE TERMINATOR (1984)- Okay, I don’t hate to love this one. It’s just plain awesome, and as a fan of the Hero’s Journey, it’s a great, entertaining study. They even had a showing of it both years I went to the Maui Writer’s Retreat. But it is certainly about the end of the world. And it came out at the perfect time with the rise in computers we were seeing in this country. What if they started thinking for themselves? Had we ceded too much power to the gods of technology? Had we opened Pandora’s Box?
Y2K- This gets into Fight Club type territory here, and I think is a nice segue from “The Terminator.” What if our whole system of computerized numbers and counting just suddenly propelled us back to the year 1900? I mean, you can’t make this stuff up. Perhaps the best part for me was that I was living in Montana at the time. And we were prepared. Or at least my friends were. Many of them were armed already for hunting. I was in Missoula, but I knew some outdoor guides and outfitters up by the Flathead Lake who told me to come up there if things got crazy.
And I’ll admit, I kind of wish they did. Granted, it would’ve been a major blow to my publishing aspirations, but there was a part of me that envisioned finding an old Underwood typewriter and become a bard of the new age.
I remember being at some good friends’ house as the countdown began. There was a little bit of tension, but this particular crowd was actually a little more liberal, less gun-toting. They were mostly positive thinking professionals, who had to think positive because most of their livelihoods depended on whether or not the power stayed on after 11:59:59 p.m.
There was a audible sigh of relief, followed quickly by laughter. Then kissing. Then more drinking. At one point, my buddy Mike Guild said, “I should’ve stood over by the light switch and flicked the lights off at midnight when no one was looking.”
Yeah, that would’ve been sweet. But it wasn’t the end of the world.
What do I want from you?
Well, this is a two-part post, so there’s a possibility your suggestions might show up next week, but hell, start throwin’ ‘em out anyway. Or any comments on my choices for this post.
And of course, don’t forget to check back next week for “End of the World Stories We Hate to Love, Part II (Oryx and Crake through Zombie stories).”
Finally, again, I’d hope you would help me spread the word about The Imaginings 99 cent sale for the month of February.
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