Loving Cormac McCarthy, but Puzzled

Image

I am a big fan of the writings of Cormac McCarthy. His use of language is thrilling (even though he refuses to use quotation marks. You get used to it).

However, I find myself scratching my head over this paragraph at the end of a chapter (p. 18) in his novel, Outer Dark:

“It howled execration upon the dim camarine world of its nativity wail on wail while he lay there gibbering with palsied jawhasps, his hands putting back the night like some witless paraclete beleaguered with all limbo’s clamor.”

You tell me.

The Bridge Epiphany

ImageI carved out  time to do some writing yesterday morning (actually, I couldn’t sleep and got up at 4:00am). I was at that place in the novel where I saw a huge gap between something that had just happened and where I thought the story needed to go. I  stared at my computer screen, wondering what to do next.

Then, it was as if two of the characters (shady, dark, guys. But smart!) slipped into the room and gave me the answer. I hadn’t planned to recruit them into that particular scene, but I did and it worked. I saw, for the most part, how the rest of the story would play out.

This is one of the things I love the most about writing. It’s an adventure that isn’t scripted ahead of time. The characters push back when I try to get them to do something they weren’t made to do, and they suggest ideas that don’t seem to be my own.

Someone asked me this week if I know the beginning and the end of a novel when I sit down to write. I don’t. I know how to begin, but to know the end would destroy the fun of it all.

The Undead and the Gospel

In May I’ll be presenting a paper at a conference at Azusa Pacific University. The title of my paper will be:

Tales of Horror:

What the Undead and Their friends

have to Teach us about the Gospel

I’ll be exploring how horror literature has the potential to explore important theological themes, but without giving up the images and descriptions that disturb and horrify us. After all, the Bible has quite a bit of that.

I Think There’s Something Wrong With Me

Image

Really. I mean it. I really think there’s something wrong with me.

I see people writing about the nicest things, telling the sweetest, most compelling stories. And then I realize that I only want to write things that are twisted and strange.

Someone writes about a love relationship. I want to write about a love relationship that ends with a body and a bloody butcher’s knife.

Another writes about a placid pond in an idyllic setting. I want there to be a vile creature just under the surface, waiting to suck the innocent into the murky depths.

Where one person sees angels and fairies, I see vampires and werewolves.

I married my high school sweetheart. During those school years, I forgot to give her a card celebrating the anniversary of our steadiness, but I remembered to get her a card for Halloween. Surely she knew what she was getting into when she married me.

The weird thing (among all the others) is that I’m also a religious person. I believe in things redeeming and hopeful. But there’s still this dark side . . .

Yes, there’s probably something wrong with me. But I’ve got this new idea for a story . . .

More Amazon reviews for A Body Given!

http://www.amazon.com/Body-Given-Mike-McNichols/dp/1935959387/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361746536&sr=1-1&keywords=a+body+given+mcnichols

New review for A Body Given on Barnes and Noble!

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-body-given-mike-mcnichols/1114086433?ean=9781935959380

The Kindle version of A Body Given is on sale at Amazon UK for only £3.23. Is that good or bad?
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Body-Given-Novel-ebook/dp/B00B4BZFGS/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1360546405&sr=1-1

A Body Given poster

A Body Given poster

Makes you want to go have a pint (and read the book, of course, which can be found here: Another great poster for A Body Given. Makes you want to go out and have a pint. The book can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Body-Given-Mike-McNichols/dp/1935959387/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359558947&sr=1-1&keywords=a+body+given+mcnichols)

A Body Given

A Body Given

A fine read for a rainy day.

A Body Given now on NOOK!

My new novel, A Body Given, is now available in both paperback and NOOK at Barnes and Noble. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-body-given-mike-mcnichols/1114086433?ean=2940016023977