Let me for a moment write about something else than my small press, H. Harksen Productions, and the various projects on their way… Yes, Ran Cartwright’s Darktowne is a little delayed but now that I have received a new file to use for the cover, from the amazing artist, Allen Koszowski, it’s well on its way again (with a little luck we’ll see publication by the end of this week), and “real life work” has taken a little too much of my time to just forge ahead with other projects in between then and now. But that’s not what I want to talk about in this post.
My own horror short story “Just An Accountant” has been accepted for publication! Yes — by another publisher, not by me;-) My first sale. I am ecstatic! A huge thanks to The Lovecraft eZine. So my tale about an accountant and his first experiences with the more, hm, occult aspects of the world is finally about to be released to the world. H. P. Lovecraft meets Philip K. Dick… With a pinch of inspiration from a Norwegian Phone Book! (More about that later.)
Many probably think of me as a publisher and not as a writer in his own right. And, well, there’s some truth to it. After all, I have published way, way more as a publisher (publishing other people’s stories, that is, not my own) than I have as a writer, even counting the few stories included in anthologies from H. Harksen Productions. So I am, in reality, more of a horror & weird tales publisher than I am a horror & weird tales writer… But that’s not necessarily the proper balance, if it was all up to me and my artistic ego. If I could have it 100% my way I’d probably be a publisher about 30-40% of the time — a publisher of other people’s work, mind you — and spending the rest of the time writing my own dark tales. Hopefully resulting in publications here, there and everywhere.
Don’t get me wrong — I love being a publisher of weird tales. And I have made not only contact with talented people but friends because of that, from all around the world, something that’s worth more than I can ever say. I do not regret anything.
But I also have a more… What shall I say… free, creative spirit? One that isn’t allowed to surface as much as it should. Because of my other duties, be that as publisher, father, husband and a human being working for other people in the so-called “real life” order of things. This inner part of me needs release now and then, needs to write, to write stories, to write dark stores.
Seeing one of my attempts to write finally succeeding, receiving an e-mail telling me this submission has been accepted for publication — from someone else, from someone I have high respect for and hold in high esteem, is so nurturing to that creative spirit, you have no idea. Unless you’re such a spirit yourself, of course. Then you know very well what I am talking about.
It’s not that I write because I want to be famous as a writer (man, is this the wrong genre!) or that I write to please other people. In no way is that the case. But I have a craving — more often than I let on — to write… Because I just have to. It’s essential to being me. It’s lifeblood. I can’t really say it any other way. And I really should be better to listening to that part of me, give it more space and time (yes, by all means think along Einsteinian lines here, if you want to;-)). And while I don’t write stories when I finally sit down and write (and complete) them to satisfy other people it sure does help to know that there are other people who appreciate the story one has written word by word, sentence by sentence, on the wings of imagination’s inspiration.
I’d almost given up hope that would ever happen.
I am highly appreciative for the support I’ve received from various (trustworthy) friends, who game me critical feedback. Even the fabulous person, Mythos & weird tales writer (& Mr. YouTube Extraordinare! Mr. Willum Pugmire gave me positive, yet critical feedback to “Just An Accountant” a few years ago. Yet, as nothing really happened every time I sent in a submission… the belief diminished. Almost disappeared. I knew of course that one must expect a huge amount of rejection notes.
But still. Every time — for so long?
And the few times I was told the story was in the “maybe” pile — the publisher in question went broke, out of business and whatnot??? Argh!!!!
But no more! Now I’ve received that first, believed-to-be-ever-elusive acceptance. And what a great feeling!
I could rant on, but I better stop for now. Just wanted to share this, and write a little about it. Maybe my next post will be about the vast difference of being on the receiving end of submissions (publisher) and on the sending end (writer). Two different worlds, I tell you. And maybe a little reflection about that strange thing called “inspiration” too.
Again: Thanks The Lovecraft eZine! This sure made my day! Hell — the rest of the year!
Now… Back to writing (and editing publications as well;-))
P. S. The illustration to this blog shows a few pages from my “Commonplace Book”, with my very first and very (very) rough draft to “Just An Accountant.” To avoid spoilers I have blurred the overall timeline-idea;-)