More Ghost Stories: Tedium and Ghosts

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More Ghost Stories by M.R. James has been a bit of a grind. So much so, that I’ve put it down multiple times and went on about life thinking, “Do I really need to finish that? By this point, I know how things are going to go.” I’m just so intrigued by the settings and stories that I’m willing to read them even if I find some points a bit tedious.

I can respect the inspiration and foundational impact of M.R. James has provided. Perhaps if I were reading these at Christmas time with some roasted chestnuts and some mulled wine, I’d enjoy them a bit more. However, with 97% of a thirty page story focused on where the garden keys are or courtroom proceedings – not drama, proceedings – or any other mundane proclivities of the early 1900’s, there’s only a blip of a page’s worth of ghostly goodness. 

I wrote this before I even finished reading the last story because, it doesn’t matter. They’re gonna find those keys. The MC Hammer Pants of a ghost of the valetudinarian uncle will show up. The characters will say they are spooked, but it’s really more of a good ole flummoxing. Everyone will be fine and unscarred, except the one and only character to be punished for his trespasses because he killed a woman, thus making her a ghost, and sentencing her to an afterlife of wearing three pairs of Hammer Pants at once and running on all fours. 

Okay fine! There is one more character that was punished, but I do not recall the specifics. I’m not going back to find which one. I’ve taken a cursory glance at the table of contents, nothing rang a bell. Even though I could look at the first page of the story and remember, I don’t want to.

Taking into account that these tales were published well over one hundred years ago, I bet they sure were scary at the time. I can truly appreciate the setting, the ideas; pretty much the whole she-bang minus the execution. I feel like I’m being groomed into accepting the slightest bump on a floorboard to be satisfyingly spooky. 

Which, it is. Each and every single time with previously heavy lidded eyes I say, “You did it again M.R!”. Though it’s fleeting, that’s the payoff. Which is the reason why I read the next story and that I’ll more than likely read the next collection of stories, A Thin Ghost and Others.

I Wrote A Short Story

Books

I’m gonna be published! A couple of months back, I got reacquainted with horror. Which is something I’d been actively avoiding during the last couple of years. With all the craziness in the world and the pandemic. I felt like the last thing I needed was to experience some poor soul’s no good, very bad day.

However, being trapped inside can change a person’s perspective. As mentioned, I’d been listening to the Magnus Archives. The podcast’s creator, Jonathan Sims, has said he was inspired by the works of M.R. James. Which inspired me to give M.R. James a try.

Which gave me an idea for a story that I started working on immediately. Wouldn’t you know it, that story gave me another idea for a completely different tale. To skip to the end, the newer one stuck and is finished. 

In fact, it’s actually been submitted to a publisher for review for the possibility of being included in an anthology. I’m post submission and feel weird. Not nervous. More like an excited calm. For some reason I really think I have a good chance of getting in.

I’m Gonna Be Published!

I’m gonna be published! Just got the confirmation email on Monday with all of the paperwork. What’s coincidentally weird is that on Sunday night I was thinking that I should have heard back. The publisher had given me the all clear to check in after month, but I didn’t feel comfortable doing so. Maybe I just didn’t want bad news. 

Lo and behold the very next morning as a check my email I immediately recognize the name on the email. I was so excited I could barely read the email. Nervous? No, excited. There was near immediate recognition that the email was positive and the news was good.

I’m thrilled that I’m actually getting a work published. Selected by someone else to be published. It’s an amazing feeling. The realization that I’m not officially a published author. That’s amazing.

Then the nerves set in because I realized that people are going to read this. Oh the nerves!

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary

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Ghost Stories of an Antiquary gives readers a chance to see a bunch book worm types make poor decisions in these intriguing old times tales of horror and suspense. Not gory and not necessarily scary, but eerie. Though the suspense of  Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad did make me put down the book for the night in order to have a restful sleep. 

If the works H.P Lovecraft or Robert W. Chambers are found intriguing, then Ghost Stories of an Antiquary should be added to the TBR list. Also, check out the podcast, The Magnus Archives. The creator was inspired heavily by M.R. James.