Janus, on the Cusp of the New Year

I’m a little late with this first post of the year, but I’ve been writing it in my head since Sunday and I haven’t stopped long enough to write it down until now. This is the time of year when we all (in varying degrees of consciousness) honor the Roman god Janus and take a look back over the previous year, and look forward into the new one. We straddle the divide between what has already come to pass and the potential of the future. Some make resolutions, and at one time, I would have been one of them. Since it is far too socially acceptable to break resolutions (just wait until the late January/February commercials start hitting the air to see this mentioned over and over), I don’t make them. I’m not saying that I don’t set goals or that I don’t do everything I can to see them to their completion, but I don’t consider them “resolutions” and I don’t worry about “breaking” them.

Last year, I set a goal for myself to get through a list of 25 books recommended in the Horror Writer’s Association book, On Writing Horror. I dubbed the list The 25 Book Challenge. Here is the list:

  • Frankenstein – Mary Shelley (ended up reading it twice, because I didn’t realize it was on my list for school)
  • Dracula – Bram Stoker
  • The Ghost Pirates -William Hope Hodgson
  • The Collected Ghost Stories of M.R. James
  • Burn, Witch, Burn – A. Merritt
  • To Walk the Night – William Sloane
  • The Dunwich Horror and others – H.P. Lovecraft (Since I have read quite a bit of Lovecraft, I’m taking the liberty of substituting a the dream cycle anthology I bought a while back)
  • Fear – L. Ron Hubbard
  • Darker Than You Think – Jack Williamson
  • Conjure Wife – Fritz Leiber
  • I Am Legend – Richard Matheson
  • Rosemary’s Baby – Ira Levin
  • Richard Matheson: Collected stories 1-3
  • Hell House – Richard Matheson
  • The October Country – Ray Bradbury
  • Something Wicked this Way Comes – Ray Bradbury
  • The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty
  • Falling Angel – Wialliam Hjortsberg
  • Salem’s Lot – Stephen King
  • The Stand – Stephen King
  • Watchers – Dean Koontz
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
  • Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural – edited by Wise and Fraser
  • The Dark Descent – edited by David Hartwell (got about 1/2 way through this)
  • The Essential Harlan Elllison: A Fifty Year Retrospective – edited by Terry Dowling

All in all, not too bad considering I read several other books NOT on the list (for what they were and my thoughts on EVERYTHING I read, take a look at my What I Read in 2011 page). I made it through 35 books plus a couple I started and didn’t finish and that includes a semester of school and writing my behind off. I think it was a success, even though I didn’t get through everything I planned.

I even got my first fiction piece published! The Unbidden was released as an e-novella by Post Mortem Press this summer and is available on amazon.com on Kindle, through bn.com on Nook and through the iBookstore. For those without a nifty gadget, it’s also available on Smashwords in pdf or html formats that can be read on any computer.

This year, I’m going to be doing the school thing as aggressively as I did last year, so I don’t expect to make it through another 30 books, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try like hell! My intent is to finish the list from last year, add a dash of King, a splash of non-fiction and then turn my focus to Lovecraft. Seeing as how it’s an apocalyptic year and all, the auspicious year might actually herald the coming of the elder gods and I’d rather do my research and be prepared, if you know what I mean…. 😉

Here’s the 2012 Reading List:

  • The Ghost Pirates -William Hope Hodgson
  • The Collected Ghost Stories of M.R. James
  • Burn, Witch, Burn – A. Merritt
  • To Walk the Night – William Sloane
  • Darker Than You Think – Jack Williamson
  • Conjure Wife – Fritz Leiber
  • I Am Legend – Richard Matheson
  • Richard Matheson: Collected stories 1-3
  • Salem’s Lot – Stephen King
  • The Dark Descent – edited by David Hartwell (the remainder)
  • 999 – edited by Al Sarrantonio (the remainder)
  • Dreams of Terror and Death – HP Lovecraft
  • The Watchers out of Time – HP Lovecraft
  • Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos – HP Lovecraft (and others)
  • The Road to Madness – HP Lovecraft
  • The Horror in the Museum – HP Lovecraft (and others)
  • Book of the Supernatural – edited by Stephen Jones
  • The World Without Us – Alan Weisman
  • Book of the Supernatural – edited by HP Lovecraft
  • Lovecraft Unbound – edited by Ellen Datlow
  • The Dream World of HP Lovecraft – Donald Tyson
  • Danse Macabre – Stephen King
  • Supernatural Noir – edited by Ellen Datlow
  • Dan Simmons – Song of Kali
  • Necronomicon – Donald Tyson
  • Alhazred – Donald Tyson
  • 11/22/63 – Stephen King
  • Inheritance – Christopher Paolini
  • The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making – Catherynne M. Valente
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

It’s an ambitious list, but gotta keep pushing or you’ll never get anywhere. Reading almost makes me feel like Vince Nasco from Watchers – with each book, I absorb the life force of those words…only they go on to create more.

But enough of this for now. I have writing to do and pages to read, and only 3 weeks left before school starts again. No time to spare!

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: