For Those Who Avoid Horror Fiction

At its best, horror fiction goes beyond cheap thrills to provide insights into human nature through monsters (human or otherwise) as metaphors. If nothing else, it brings new, otherworldly possibilities into our relatively more mundane realities, allowing us to both appreciate the ordinary while opening ourselves to the extraordinary.

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Lou Reed (RIP): Musician, Poet, Storyteller

Yesterday, at age 71, Lou Reed, a grand maestro of rock music and frontman of The Velvet Underground, died of liver failure. All media outlets were buzzing with the news and there are several interesting links collected below. As he evolved from a troubled youth to a drug-addicted poet of dark themes to a meditative thinker and lyrical raconteur, his solo work, post-The Velvet Underground, became even more important and continued to inspire many musicians to from their own bands and authors to write novels.

Weekend Poem: Ode to NaNoWriMo (with apologies to Swinburne)

It's that time of year again. National Novel Writing Month. When budding, ambitious writers everywhere commit to getting 50,000 words down in 30 days. There are author pep talks, Twitter chats, in-person meetups, write-ins that go past midnight, They also manage to raise some decent sums of fund money to allow the NaNoWriMo Staff to come up with even more ideas and treats to trick new unsuspecting innocents into trying out a novel in a month the next time.