Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I have a story coming out in Horrors Beyond II – Stories of Strange Creations. This is a new anthology from Elder Signs Press. In addition to the regular trade paperback, there will be a hardcover and a trade paperback limited edition signed by the authors. So in the last few months, a ream box containing many sheets of cotton bond paper journeyed around the country to each author in turn. We had to autograph every signature sheet, inside the margins indicated by a signing guide, being sure to leave room for the other twenty signatures. It was all meticulously organized by the editors of ESP, with crystal-clear instructions, but....

Signing one's name on enough pages to fill a ream box – now that was horror!

Actually it wasn't as taxing as I expected. With a smooth-flowing pen, the signing guide paperclipped to a firm piece of cardboard, and a good-sized desk surface to work on, it was a snap. An odd thing happened, though: about a third of the way through, my hand forgot how to make the "n" in my last name. I broke off, rested my hand, and studied my signature on the first few pages in the ream box. But the trick was to be in unthinking reflex mode. When I paid some bills and signed my name on the checks, that got my name-signing reflex right back on track and all was well.

My story in the anthology is titled "The Mortification of the Flesh."

P. S. I borrowed from the library the CD mentioned in my February 13 blog ("From the Sublime to Something Else") to give it a listen. The CD is Gregorian Chant Elvis Presley, performed by the Brotherhood of St. Gregory. It's less exotic than I expected. But more disconcerting. The music sounds like a cross between steamy Presley lyrics and guileless folk mass instruments (especially guitar) and voices (especially tenors). Pointed cognitive dissonance ensues when hearing the word "can't," as in "Can't Help Falling in Love," sung with church-chorister pronunciation: cahn't.

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